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: Daily Mail (UK)
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (4-4-11)
Eliyahu Bet-Zuri suggested sending agents of the Stern Gang, a Zionist paramilitary group devoted to forcing the British out of Palestine, to London to kill the then-prime minister.
Bet-Zuri was hanged in 1945 for murdering Lord Moyne, the UK's minister resident in the Middle East and a close friend of Churchill, in Cairo in November 1944.
MI5 was deeply concerned that Jewish terrorists might try to assassinate other leading British politicians, in particular the post-war foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, files released by the National Archives reveal....
Name of source: France24
SOURCE: France24 (4-11-11)
But what if the past half-century has been just a cosmic waste of money?
Presidents and space agencies insist manned missions will always be at the heart of their space programmes.
An astronaut not only embodies the human quest to explore, they argue. He or she can also act on tuition and think swiftly and creatively in ways impossible for a machine.
Dissidents dismiss this as a craving for prestige, or lobbying by the space industry or astronauts themselves.
Manned space flight, they contend, has sapped funds for robot probes and satellites that unlock more knowledge and practical advantages at a lower price -- and put no-one's life at risk....
Name of source: The Local (Germany)
SOURCE: The Local (Germany) (4-10-11)
The magazine said Karl Josef Silberbauer worked as a confidential informant and recruiter for the BND, according to evidence found by Hamburg journalist and author Peter-Ferdinand Koch in US archives.
Silberbauer was a feared interrogation specialist who spent years working as an informant for the foreign intelligence agency. Earlier, he worked for the Organisation Gehlen, a forerunner of the BND. During the war, he held the rank of SS-Oberscharführer.
Anne Frank and her family went into hiding with four other Jews starting in 1942. Operating on a tip-off, SS officers raided their secret annex in August 1944.
Anne Frank was sent to Auschwitz before her transfer to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She died of typhus, aged 15, in March 1945, shortly before the war ended....
Name of source: National Parks Traveler
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (4-11-11)
“The firing upon that fort will inaugurate a civil war greater than any the world has yet seen,” declared Robert Toombs, Confederate secretary of state, not long before the conflict began.
Despite the lack of fatalities (except for two that a surrender ceremony accident produced), the siege on the Union fort on Charleston Harbor in South Carolina commenced four years of civil strife, launching a conflict that threatened to tear apart a country, a conflict that killed more than 620,000 and severely tested the United States' backbone.
The fort, miraculously, shouldered the onslaught. Though it is in various stages of ruins, with walls that once stood 55 feet above sea level now ranging in height from 9 to 25 feet high, the fort nevertheless today stands as a national monument in commemoration of those who fought and died in the Civil War....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-11-11)
A declassified document from 1949 tells how three men, on patrols miles apart, each reported seeing a UFO break up over mountains north of Salt Lake City.
Their extraordinary accounts were sent to Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, in a memo titled "Flying Discs".
The file said that a policeman, a highway patrolman and an army guard all "saw a silver coloured object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon" that "appeared to explode in a rash of fire."
"Several residents [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions, followed by falling object," it said....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-10-11)
At least one million pilgrims are expected to begin arriving as early as Easter to mark the beatification, the final step before the "blessed" is officially declared a saint.
The Vatican has released a detailed schedule of events for the beatification and warned against people selling counterfeit tickets to the beatification ceremony, which is free and open to all.
In March an American tour guide was accused of promoting an internet sales scam in which unsuspecting pilgrims were charged around £150 for a false ticket granting them access to the free ceremony to be held in St. Peter's Square.
Vatican officials have also sought an "ethical pact" with the Rome hoteliers association in which members promised not to raise prices for the events....
George H. W. Bush is perhaps the most famous alumni of The Order of Skull and Bones, Yale's oldest and most determinedly secretive society. Founded in 1832 following a dispute among Yale's debating societies, it has long been a source of speculation and intrigue due to its history of nurturing the elites of the day.
Skull and Bones aroused competition on campus, leading to the founding of Scroll and Key (1841), and later Wolf's Head (1883).
Rumours of the society include suggested ties from organisations ranging from the CIA to the Illuminati. The 2000 film, The Skulls, was largely inspired by such speculations, but it seems more likely that the society's secretiveness stems from the fact that there is in fact very little to tell.
Delta Kappa Epsilon, or DKE, is a highly successful social fraternity founded at Yale in 1844 which established chapters at a number of other Ivy league universities, including Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania....
The foreign secretary said Mr Koussa, who faces inquiries from the International Criminal Court and families of the victims of Libyan terrorists, would not be forced to return to Libya, adding: "There are quite a range of places that he could go to live."
Mr Hague's comments, in an interview with Sky News, came as relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims accepted he may never face trial in Britain....
Roberto De Mattei, 63, the deputy head of the country's National Research Council, claimed that the empire was fatally weakened after conquering Carthage, which he described as "a paradise for homosexuals".
The remarks prompted angry calls for his resignation, with critics saying his comments were homophobic, offensive and unbecoming of his position.
The fall of the Roman Empire was a result of "the effeminacy of a few in Carthage, a paradise for homosexuals, who infected the many.
"The abhorrent presence of a few gays infected a good part of the (Roman) people," Prof Mattei told Radio Maria, a Catholic radio station....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-6-11)
The male body – said to date back to between 2900-2500BC – was discovered buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age.
The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb in the Czech Republic with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs, rituals only previously seen in female graves.
"From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," said lead archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova.
"Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual," she added....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-7-11)
Miss Mussolini, a right-wing politician and former actress and model, resigned from the Italian political party National Alliance in 2003 following a visit of the party leader to Israel where he denounced fascism as "the absolute evil" and apologised for Italy's role during the Second World War.
She did, however, defend the right of Israel to exist and declared that the world "should beg forgiveness of Israel".
In March 2005, Miss Mussolini was banned by a local court from regional elections held the following month for presenting fraudulent signatures. She went on hunger strike to protest the decision and blamed her former party, the right-wing National Alliance, for engineering the forgery scandal.
She sparked outrage in 2006 when she responded to claims by the transgender Italian M.P. candidate Vladimir Luxuria that she was a 'fascist' with the line: Meglio fascista che frocio ("It is better to be a fascist than a faggot")....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (4-7-11)
Born in a small village in Siberia in 1869, he first came to the attention of the Russian aristocracy in 1903 when he arrived in the imperial capital St. Petersburg and set himself up as a holy man who claimed to be blessed with supernatural healing powers.
When the Tsarina, Alexandra, became desperate to find a cure for her haemophiliac son Alexei she turned to Rasputin.
In the years that followed, the heavily bearded monk won her confidence and that of her husband Tsar Nicholas II.
There are credible reports that British secret agents may have had a hand in his murder as London was alarmed by his apparent insistence that Russia should withdraw its troops from the First World War.
In a ghoulish and tasteless twist, a museum in St. Petersburg has displayed what it claims to be Rasputin's severed penis in a glass jar. Experts doubt it is the real thing however....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (4-11-11)
Before battle, his lips would quiver and his body went numb. When the shooting started, some of his comrades burst into maniacal laughter. Others bit the throat and ears of their enemy. And some were shattered by shells so powerful that tufts of their hair stuck to rocks and trees.
Take a tour of a Civil War battlefield today, and it's difficult to connect the terrifying experience of an average Civil War soldier -- described above from various historical accounts -- with the tranquil historic sites where we now snap pictures today.
But you don't have to tour a battlefield to understand the Civil War. Look at today's headlines. As the nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of its deadliest war this week, some historians say we're still fighting over some of the same issues that fueled the Civil War.
"There are all of these weird parallels," says Stephanie McCurry, author of "Confederate Reckoning," a new book that examines why Southerners seceded and its effect on Southern women and slaves.
"When you hear charges today that the federal government is overreaching, and the idea that the Constitution recognized us as a league of sovereign states -- these were all part of the secessionist charges in 1860," she says....
SOURCE: CNN (4-10-11)
Hawks joined a chorus of fellow paleoanthropologists, archaeologists and other bone experts who carefully dissected media reports about the dig, which began to increase after first appearing in British and Czech newspapers.
The reports stem from a Tuesday press conference in Prague where Czech archaeologists came forward to reveal their findings-- the unusual burial site of a man dating from 2800-2500 B.C.
The man's skeleton was found placed on its left side with the head facing west -- traditionally the position in which females in the culture were buried. Around the remains were items also typically associated with female burials instead of weapons normally found in male graves from that time period. Two other conventional male and female graves were found at the same site.
But Hawks and others say the news media misinterpreted the findings.
First, cavemen lived about 30,000 to 20,000 years ago. The remains found last week were from the Neolithic Age, about 5,000 years ago, Hawks told CNN....
SOURCE: CNN (4-9-11)
Soldiers, freshly home from combat, recreated battle scenes to educate townspeople and honor fallen comrades.
For Gettysburg's 50th anniversary in 1913, more than 50,000 Confederate and Union veterans returned to Pennsylvania to celebrate America's reunification. The former foes, ages 61 to an alleged 112, re-enacted the gruesome clash to an awe-struck audience.
After the Civil War's centennial commemorations in the 1960s, modern portrayals trickled into mainstream pop culture. Now, as the 150th anniversary approaches, thousands of Americans dress up to go back in time. Re-enactment groups, located in nearly every state, never stop recruiting....
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (4-10-11)
Gagarin's 108-minute flight was another major propaganda coup for the Soviet Union, which had successfully launched the first satellite - Sputnik - in 1957.
"I was a young fighter pilot in Germany I was flying F-102s in Rammstein Germany. We were more focused on the building of the Berlin Wall that year, rather than the space race," says Nasa astronaut Charles Duke, who walked on the Moon during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972.
"When he flew, my first impression was - well, they beat us again."
Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Nikita Khrushchev, who was the Soviet premier at the time of Gagarin's flight, told BBC News: "We were very proud but we did not really understand how important it was. It was one more flight, one more achievement."...
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (4-10-11)
Mr. Obama, running in 2008, promised “affordable, accessible health care for every American.” He won 53 percent of the vote.
But Mr. Obama promised many things and watched as economic conditions deteriorated drastically during his campaign. Republicans ferociously contested his mandate on health care — and made political gains even while failing to block the legislation.
In practical terms, concluded Mr. Stimson and his co-authors, Lawrence J. Grossback and David A. M. Peterson, policy mandates exist only when both parties embrace common interpretations of an election’s results. Since World War II, that has happened only three times, by the authors’ reckoning.
One was 1965, after President Lyndon B. Johnson’s landslide election over Barry Goldwater. Moderate Republicans, battling Goldwater conservatives for party control, joined Democrats to create Medicare.
Another was 1981, after Ronald Reagan won the presidency. Conservative Democrats, convinced that their party had moved too far to the left, joined Republicans to cut income tax rates.
The third was 1995, after Newt Gingrich led the successful effort to break the Democrats’ 40-year grip on the House. President Bill Clinton conceded, “The era of big government is over.”
Even so, Mr. Clinton ultimately outmaneuvered Mr. Gingrich as he pursued the Republican mandate. The fact that Mr. Clinton outlasted Mr. Gingrich in office represents a cautionary tale for Speaker John A. Boehner....
SOURCE: NYT (4-10-11)
Both nations had agreed to erect a memorial at the crash site in western Russia, and in preparation the Russians moved a large boulder to serve that purpose. President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other Polish officials, including members of Parliament, the chiefs of the army and navy, and the president of the national bank, died while traveling to commemorate an earlier tragedy near the spot: the Soviet massacre of Polish prisoners at Katyn Forest in 1940.
Relatives of the Polish victims took the initiative of affixing a sign to the boulder that said, in Polish, that Mr. Kaczynski and his entourage had died while traveling to commemorate “the Soviet crime of genocide against prisoners of war, Polish Army officers.”
But on Saturday, the governor of the Smolensk region, Sergei V. Antufyev, ordered the plaque removed. The main objection, he told Russian reporters on Sunday, was that it was in Polish, with no translation into Russian. While the replacement was in both languages, the wording was also changed. No mention was made of the reason the Polish officials had been traveling to the region....
The hidden hand of the G.O.P. establishment is once again at work. Dissatisfied with a presidential field consisting of boring retreads (Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee) and Tea Party-endorsed outsiders (Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin), various elites have been trying to coalesce around a candidate of their own.
Now here is where the story gets strange. The candidates they are recruiting make Michael Dukakis look like John F. Kennedy. They are qualified enough to serve as president, but wildly unqualified to run for president. One way to put this is that most powerful people in the G.O.P. have suddenly gone idealistic. Another way to put it is that they’ve lost their minds....
What, then, explains the Republican establishment’s outburst of idealism/madness? For one thing, the legacy of Ronald Reagan caused conservatives to commit to a hyperidealized conception of the presidency. Democrats dismissed his popularity as a function of Hollywood charisma. Republicans bitterly contested this, and still do. “Far from the stereotype of the passive actor being fed his lines by myriad scriptwriters and directors, Reagan was an avid reader of conservative periodicals like Human Events and National Review, as well as of leading theoreticians of the post-World War II conservative movement,” the former Reagan staff member Jeffrey Bell argued in February. An editor of a 2001 book, “Reagan, in His Own Hand,” said that the Gipper possessed “a formidable intellect, as a reader, a thinker, a strategist.” Their takeaway: Televised charisma alone doesn’t win elections. Ideas — conservative ideas — win elections....
How did we get here? The modern school-reform movement sprang to life in 1983, with the release of “A Nation at Risk,” an education report commissioned by the Reagan administration that boldly stated — note the cold-war era metaphor — that the United States had embarked upon a “unilateral educational disarmament.” From there, a line, however jagged, can be drawn through the Clinton administration’s emphasis on national standards, to President George W. Bush’s declaiming of “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” and on to the current generation of reformers, with their embrace of charter schools and their attacks on the teachers union. The policies and rhetoric changed, often dramatically, but the underlying assumption remained the same: Our nation’s schools are in dire need of systemic reform.
Opponents of reform will tell you the movement was built on a false premise, that the Reagan report was based on declining SAT scores, which weren’t really declining; it was just that more people were taking the test. The anti-reformers (for lack of a better term) have their own founding document, too: “Equality of Educational Opportunity,” a federal study released a bit awkwardly in 1966, in the midst of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s efforts to persuade Congress to devote more resources to schools through programs like Head Start. It concluded that school-based factors like money and teachers actually have little bearing on student achievement, that what happens outside the classroom is actually far more significant than what happens inside of it....
“It’s been complete confusion,” said Gary Alexander, one of the 90 National Park Service employees working on the commemoration.
Because the budget impasse threatened to close Fort Sumter, about 70 Union Army re-enactors who had been scheduled to take up positions at the garrison in Charleston harbor on Friday were obliged to encamp elsewhere. And hundreds of Confederate re-enactors scheduled to camp at Fort Moultrie, another federal Park Service site across the harbor, instead slept by their pickups in a nearby parking lot rather than risk eviction from Moultrie by the Park Service in case there was a shutdown.
“We’re like the poster child for the effects of a government shutdown,” said Mark Silas Tackitt, who flew here from Seattle, where he is a public defender, to play the role of the Union commander who surrendered Fort Sumter after Confederate shelling in April 1861. “One hundred fifty years ago, people here were thinking, what is the federal government going to do? And today there’s quite a parallel.”...
In an often-fiery speech on March 31 at Mosque Maryam, the group’s South Side headquarters, Mr. Farrakhan recalled the decades of friendship and millions of dollars Colonel Qaddafi had lent the Nation of Islam over the years.
“What kind of brother would I be if a man has been that way to me, and to us, and when he’s in trouble I refuse to raise my voice in his defense?” Mr. Farrakhan said to cheers and applause from hundreds of the faithful gathered at the mosque.
Mr. Farrakhan, 77, sounded sincere in his efforts to come to the aid of the embattled Libyan leader. But amid a significant drop in Nation of Islam membership, waning popular interest in the movement he leads and growing concerns over succession, Mr. Farrakhan may also be using the conflict in Libya as an effort to return to relevance.
Nation of Islam membership has fallen by as much as half from its estimated peak of 100,000 in 1995, when Mr. Farrakhan rallied nearly a million men, most of them black, to the Million Man March in Washington, according to Lawrence H. Mamiya, professor of religion and Africana studies at Vassar College. (The Nation of Islam does not give out membership numbers.)...
The Nation of Islam, which was founded in Detroit in 1930 by W. D. Fard, is both a black separatist movement and a unique religion. Its theology spurns traditional Islam, and its organizational goals — compiled by Elijah Muhammad, its leader from the mid-’30s — include freedom, equality and a separate nation for blacks.
That message struck a chord during the civil rights era, and celebrity converts like Malcolm X, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali further raised the group’s profile.
Chief among its beliefs is that Mr. Fard was an incarnation of God and that Elijah Muhammad was his prophet. The foundation of the Muslim faith is the incantation, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.”...
The Nation of Islam under Mr. Farrakhan has other practices that set it apart. It does not follow sharia law, the sacred rules of Islam based on the Koran and the Sunnah, or sayings of the Prophet. Further, it teaches that black scientists created the universe and the Koran, that Earth is over 76 trillion years old and that a great U.F.O. called the Mother Plane will come to destroy the United States....
But those glory days were a long time ago.
Now, the glamour of the Woman’s Club of Hollywood has been replaced by squabbles and lawsuits. The membership has dwindled and some members say the club has been subject to a hostile takeover by a couple of women who, under the guise of reviving the club, actually are hoping to turn the valuable property into condominiums.
The club’s story touches on many of the keystones of this city — money, celebrity, history and, of course, real estate. On one side is a group of women who have been involved with the club for years who say that they are victims of a predatory scheme. On the other are two women who say that they alone are trying to revive the club and turn it into a nonprofit. The two sides have battled in court for months, but the State Superior Court may soon force the organization to hold an election to decide who should run the club....
But it had to be done. The New York City health department was dropping hints as loud as the clatter of mugs on a Saturday night.
So, with heavy heart, the proprietor, Matthew Maher, 70, climbed up a small ladder. With curatorial care, he took down the two-dozen dust-cocooned wishbones dangling on an old gas lamp above the storied bar counter. He removed the clouds of gray from each bone. Then he placed every one of the bones, save for those that crumbled at his touch, back onto the gas lamp — where, in the context of this dark and wonderful establishment, they are not merely the scrap remains of poultry, but holy relics....
Joseph Mitchell, the inimitable chronicler of old New York, once wrote that the founder, John McSorley, simply liked to save things, including the wishbones of holiday turkeys. But Mr. Maher, who has worked at McSorley’s since 1964 — he predates some of the memorabilia — insists that the bones were hung by doughboys as wishful symbols of a safe return from the Great War. The bones left dangling came to represent those who never came back.
Over the years, Mr. Maher says, the custom continued. In fact, he says, bones representing doughboys lost in France now hang beside those representing soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. And then he adds: “Actually, it started with the Civil War.”...
Not only is such a sale by an old family unusual, those experts say, but the size of the collection and the variety of items provide a window on the life and times of both outsize and ordinary Americans in pivotal centuries.
Part of the collection, the Bushrod Washington Family papers, includes correspondence, legal documents, land deeds and other items, among them letters from and about the widow of Alexander Hamilton, inventories of slaves, and a recipe for cement sent to Washington at Mount Vernon. In a family that included a Supreme Court justice (Bushrod) as well as the first president, there are letters from George Wythe (who signed the Declaration of Independence) and Richard Peters, Washington’s secretary of war. They are being offered by Heritage Auction Galleries in two sales, with books being auctioned in New York on Thursday and other items being sold in Dallas on May 21.
“It is quite remarkable when a steward of the collection is able to keep it together,” said Carol Borchert Cadou, the vice president for collections at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. “It’s fairly rare to have a large amount of material survive together in family hands. An object, if it can be divided, often is. A piece of fabric, for example, might be divided into five pieces, and the one piece that survives is tiny and frayed.”...
Name of source: CBS
SOURCE: CBS (4-10-11)
It's the pope's library, but it contains much more than just church documents. There are manuscripts going back nearly 2,000 years on music and math, warfare and exploration - even cookbooks and love letters. The library is closed to the public, as it is a place for scholars only.
SOURCE: CBS (4-10-11)
Not many 50-year-old cold cases ever get solved - memories fade, evidence is lost, witnesses and suspects die or disappear. But that's not the case in the death of Louis allen, a mostly forgotten, but historically significant murder that helped bring thousands of white college students to Mississippi in the Freedom Summer of 1964.
Name of source: BBC
The Tregaron Elephant has long had its place in local folklore, and is thought to have been buried behind the town's Talbot Hotel after dying on tour.
The small-scale excavation started on Saturday morning and the hunt for clues about the animal's final resting place will continue until next Thursday.
About 10 people from the University of Wales Trinity St David are taking part.
The elephant was said to have fallen ill after drinking contaminated water in the Ceredigion town in 1848.
It is believed to have been part of Batty's Travelling Menageries, a circus troupe which entertained widely in the area that year....
Records show Fifth Officer Harold Lowe was in the only lifeboat that went back to the sinking ship to rescue people from freezing waters in April 1912.
He was hailed a hero on his return to Barmouth, Gwynedd where it is hoped a plaque will be mounted next year.
Mr Lowe's grandson, John Lowe, 68, is to attend a meeting to discuss hopes for a memorial.
On 15 April 1912, Lowe dispersed the occupants of his lifeboat among the other boats, and rowed back towards the sinking Titanic, managing to rescue four people still alive in the water....
He is thought to have been a senior figure in the Libyan intelligence service when Pan Am flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie in 1988.
Last week the former Libyan foreign minister arrived in the UK.
Mr Koussa said he was "no longer willing" to work for Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.
Scottish police investigating the Lockerbie bombing have since interviewed Mr Koussa....
The Book of Khalid was written by Ameen Rihani, a respected Arab-American intellectual who was born in Lebanon in 1876.
It is the story of two Lebanese friends who migrate to New York.
The hero, Khalid, begins his new life peddling religious trinkets.
He adopts a bohemian lifestyle, but comes to reject America's consumerism and returns to Lebanon to find spiritual satisfaction.
The book offers important insight into the complexity of Arab-American relations....
Dr Gabor Thomas and his team have found a 7th Century iron plough coulter during excavations at Lyminge, Kent.
Unlike the small fields associated with earlier light ploughs they cultivated the land in long narrow strips making the large open fields which would become a standard feature of the medieval countryside.
Previously it was believed heavy ploughs were introduced to Anglo-Saxon England in the late 10th Century or 11th Century, on the basis of representations in manuscripts of this period.
However, the Lyminge coulter can be firmly dated to the 7th Century....
SOURCE: BBC (4-6-11)
Bolton Council bought the Amarna Princess in 2003 after Christie's and the British Museum authenticated the figurine as 3,300 years old.
But the statue of the granddaughter of King Tutankhamun was created by Shaun Greenhalgh in his shed in Bolton.
It, and other fakes, will go on display at Bolton Museum from 16 April.
Greenhalgh, of Bromley Cross in Bolton, was jailed for four years and eight months at Bolton Crown Court in 2007 after admitting selling faked and forged works of art as genuine and laundering the money he made.
London's Metropolitan Police acquired the Amarna Princess, and Greenhalgh's other fakes, after his conviction....
In history lessons, the three ages of pre-history - Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age - seem to flow together without a gap.
But there is a 300-year period in British history between around 800 BC and 500 BC where experts still struggle to explain what happened, where bronze is in decline and iron was not widely used.
The difficult thing for historians and archaeologists alike, is that no-one knows for sure what caused this decline.
There are a number of archaeological sites around Britain where large amounts of bronze, specifically axeheads, have been recovered, such as the one at Langton Matravers, Dorset. This is important because of the way historians believe bronze was used in ancient society....
SOURCE: BBC (4-6-11)
Art historian Silvano Vinceti believes that by locating the remains of Lisa Gherardini, he can prove whether she was the artist's model.
A recently discovered death certificate suggests she died in 1542 and is interred in a convent in Florence.
The excavation will begin at Saint Orsola later this month.
Using scientific techniques, Vinceti says he hopes to extract DNA from the skull of Gherardini - the wife of a rich silk merchant - and rebuild her face.
The group led by Vinceti has already reconstructed the faces of some artists on the basis of their skulls....
It is known the site at St Bride's Bay in Pembrokeshire contains graves that date back to the 9th and 10th Centuries.
The graves are close to the edge of low cliffs, and Dyfed Archaeological Trust is keen to analyse their contents before they disappear.
Thursday is the last day of excavation work before the site is refilled....
Members of A Circle of Gentlemen plan to march from Derby to London to deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street backing their call.
The group has its roots in a secret society which remained loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie after Culloden.
Following the battle, Jacobite supporters were executed and imprisoned and homes in the Highlands were burned.
The actions resulted in the Duke of Cumberland, who led Hanoverian troops at Culloden, being nicknamed the Butcher.
A campaign was launched in the months following Culloden to suppress further risings, but it was marked by hangings, executions by firing squad and the burning of property.
The 265th anniversary of the battle will take place on 16 April....
Simpson wore the burka as a disguise to enter Taliban-controlled Afghanistan before the US-led attack in 2001.
His fellow BBC correspondent Kate Adie was scratched by a stray bullet in Lebanon and kept it as a lucky charm.
The items will be part of an exhibition on war reporting at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester from 28 May.
The exhibition, called War Correspondent, will examine the roles and perils of journalists in conflicts from World War I to the present day....
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (4-6-11)
The image of the boy was one of two photographs that Carl Ruse clutched in his hands when he boarded the USS Rescue in September 1945. He stripped the filthy clothes from his emaciated frame and threw his makeshift crutches into the sea. He left everything behind except those two pictures: The first of himself when he arrived at the prison camp in Japan — his cheeks hollow, his gaze hard and haunted — and the second of the boy.
In the old, torn print, the child looks perhaps 11 or 12. He is not quite smiling, but his eyebrows are raised slightly. He wears a cap and buttoned jacket, a somber uniform framing his pudgy cheeks and dark, gentle eyes.
In 2007, four years after Carl Ruse died at 89, his grandson inherited his boxes of letters, medals and memorabilia from the war. Tim Ruse had interviewed his grandfather about his experience in Japan once before, as a high school senior for a class assignment. But it wasn’t until Ruse went through those boxes that his fascination with his grandfather’s history was rekindled in earnest. Ruse and his wife, Meagan, were expecting their first child, a son whom they planned to name after Carl....
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (4-7-11)
Studying ancient leprosy, which is caused by a bacterial infection, may help scientists figure out how the infectious disease evolved.
The find also reveals the warlike ways of the semi-nomadic people who lived in the area between the sixth and eighth centuries, said study researcher Mauro Rubini, an anthropologist at Foggia University in Italy. The war wounds, which showed evidence of surgical intervention, provide a peek into the medical capabilities of medieval inhabitants of Italy.
"They knew well the art of war and also the art of treating war wounds," Rubini told LiveScience.
Buried horses and bashed-in skulls
The cemetery of Campochiaro is near the central Italian town of Campobasso. Between the years 500 and 700, when the cemetery was in use, Rubini said, the area was under the control of the Lombards, a Germanic people who allied with the Avars, an ethnically diverse group of Mongols, Bulgars and Turks. No signs of a stable settlement have been found near Campochiaro, Rubini said, so the cemetery was likely used by a military outpost of Lombards and Avars, guarding against invasion from the Byzantine people to the south....
Name of source: ABC News (Australia)
SOURCE: ABC News (Australia) (4-6-11)
But while war was raging in the Pacific, huge concrete structures were being built under the hills of Lake Bathurst, ready to store thousands of litres of fuel in the case that Australia's supplies were cut off by the Japanese.
The fuel stores were just one of 32 facilities which were set up all around Australia.
Today in Lake Bathurst, what remains of this piece of Australia's war history is owned by Colin Dennett.
"Back in 1942 the land was purchased by the Defence Department, and specifically the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), to construct a number of these emergency fuel depots for the RAAF around Australia," he says.
"It was to disperse the fuel storage in the event that the Japanese got a foothold to the point where oil imports were excluded or prohibited, and they needed something like 20 million gallons capacity of storage to keep the Air Force flying for six months."
The parcel of land that was purchased is about four hectares, and the American Armed Forces paid for the Lake Bathurst site, as well as the other stores dotted around the country....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (4-6-11)
The remains were discovered in January.
They were found near a site where scientists think people harvested, cooked and ate clams thousands of years ago.
State archaeologist John Doershuk (DOHR'-shuhk) told The Des Moines Register that it's "a rather unique site, not only in Iowa but in the Midwest."
The site's exact location is not being disclosed, lest looters ravage it....
Name of source: Baltic Times
SOURCE: Baltic Times (4-6-11)
On March 30, Grybauskaite talked about changes in the education of ethnic minorities while visiting the town of Panevezys. She said that better knowledge of the Lithuanian language would help ethnic minorities to integrate into the labor market and start a better life. “My main motive was to help Lithuania’s ethnic minorities to feel like equal citizens, to be respected and to know our dear language well,” Grybauskaite said, adding that she can speak almost all the languages of Lithuania’s ethnic minorities, and Lithuania is the best in the EU, in terms of ensuring the educational and cultural needs of ethnic minorities.
On March 23, the Polish Foreign Ministry protested against the recent introduction of Lithuanian-language history and geography lessons in Lithuania’s Slavic schools (four percent of all Lithuania’s pupils attend Russian schools and 3.2 percent Polish schools in Lithuania).
On March 24, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry answered Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, saying that Lithuania just mirrors the Polish steps of 2007 for Lithuanian schools in Poland, where the situation of ethnic minority schools is rather tragic in comparison with Lithuania. “Unfortunately, the situation of Lithuanian education in Poland is worsening each year – half of Lithuanian schools were closed there during the last 10 years,” reads the statement of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry of March 24 about the situation in ethnic Lithuanian lands which Poland gained during its troops’ march on Vilnius in 1920....
Name of source: Huntsville Times
SOURCE: Huntsville Times (4-5-11)
Attorneys for the plaintiffs sought to show that Wallace's mix of power and racist politics helped create a property tax system that leaves Alabama schools underfunded, particularly poor, largely black schools.
Lawyers for the State of Alabama, the defendant in the case, cited Wallace's diminishing power in his second term as governor and his eventual reaching out to black voters, to argue that the tax system wasn't Wallace's creation.
Wallace led Alabama in the early 1960s and became a hugely polarizing figure. His symbolic "standing in the schoolhouse door" at the University of Alabama and the cry "I say segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever," gave him a national audience and he ran for president four times....
Name of source: Murfreesboro Post
SOURCE: Murfreesboro Post (4-3-11)
And while the school he built in Jamestown, Tenn., York Institute, has been saved from demolition, the struggle to preserve and restore the structure remains an uphill battle.
Rev. George Edward York, the 87-year-old son of Sgt. York, will speak at 2 p.m. April 10 to the Mt. Juliet-West Wilson County Historical Society. He will discuss how his father's legacy is being preserved.
"On Oct. 8, 1918, Corporal Alvin Cullum York and 16 other men under the command of Sergeants Harry Parsons and Bernard Early were dispatched to capture the Decauville railroad near Chatel-Chehery in the Meuse-Argonne. After a brief firefight (nine Americans died in the melee) the confused Germans surrendered to what they believed to be a superior force," said Michael E. Birdwell, an associate professor of history at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville and the archivist of Alvin C. York's papers.
"In all 132 Germans were captured and delivered to U.S. Army headquarters by the seven survivors led by Corporal York. The army singled out York as the hero of World War I and presented him with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Upon his return to the United States, York found himself being wooed by Hollywood, Broadway and various sponsors who clamored for his endorsement. York turned his back on quick and certain fortune in 1919 and went home to Tennessee to resume private life and pursue a dream that consumed the rest of his life."
That vision was York Institute, and from 1925 to 1979, the school educated the youth of his home area of the Cumberland Plateau....
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (4-5-11)
From Here to Eternity is the story of first sergeant Milt Warden, who has an affair with Karen, the wife of his captain. But the original text of the novel included two scenes which never made it to the published edition, let alone the film. In one, private Angelo Maggio – the soldier played by Frank Sinatra in the 1953 film – confesses to having oral sex with a wealthy man for $5 or $10 that "comes in handy the middle of the month". In the second scene a military investigation into gay activity is mooted....
Churchwell added that it was also important to acknowledge that a story celebrated for inspiring the classic Hollywood beach scene between Lancaster and Kerr was actually envisioned as a novel that acknowledged homosexuality. "It's an important historical correction, to allow James Jones his rightful place as one of the earliest mainstream US novelists to try to treat homosexuality sympathetically, without judging or pathologising it," she said. "People don't think of Jones as an avant-garde writer, but in his way he was. We know about Hemingway and Allen Ginsberg, but we don't put James Jones into that story and he deserves to be there."
Name of source: National Security Archive at GWU
SOURCE: National Security Archive at GWU (4-7-11)
These documents are among thousands that Chiquita turned over to the U.S. Justice Department as part of a sentencing deal in which the company admitted to years of illegal payments to the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)--a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization--and agreed to pay a $25 million fine. The Archive has obtained more than 5,500 pages of Chiquita's internal documents from the Justice Department under the Freedom of Information Act and is publishing the entire set online today. Key documents from the Chiquita Papers are included in the recently-published document collection, Colombia and the United States: Political Violence, Narcotics, and Human Rights, 1948-2010, now available as part of the Digital National Security Archive from ProQuest.
The documents provide evidence of mutually-beneficial "transactions" between Chiquita's Colombian subsidiaries and several illegal armed groups in Colombia and shed light on more than a decade of security-related payments to guerrillas, paramilitaries, Colombian security forces, and government-sponsored Convivir militia groups. The collection also details the company's efforts to conceal the so-called "sensitive payments" in the expense accounts of company managers and through other accounting tricks. The Justice Department investigation concluded that many of Chiquita's payments to the AUC (also referred to as "Autodefensas" in many of the documents) were made through legal Convivir organizations ostensibly overseen by the Colombian army.
New evidence indicating that Chiquita benefited from the illicit payments may increase the company's exposure to lawsuits representing victims of Colombia's illegal armed groups. The collection is the result of an Archive collaboration with George Washington University Law School's International Human Rights and Public Justice Advocacy Clinics and has been used in support of a civil suit brought against Chiquita led by Earth Rights International on behalf of hundreds of Colombian victims of paramilitary violence....
Name of source: The Leamington Observer
SOURCE: The Leamington Observer (4-5-11)
the interest of boffins over the possible impact on British and European DNA.
Earlier this year Warwickshire County Council’s Archaeology Warwickshire team revealed the skeleton of the African man had been found in a Roman cemetery in Tiddington, which revealed people of African descent had been living in the county for far longer than previously thought.
As a result of the subsequent press coverage Dr Hannes Schroeder read the story and immediately contacted Malin Holst, the archaeologist who first identified the skeleton, hoping for further details.
Dr Schroeder is a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and is currently working on a project trying to identify the origins of enslaved Africans using ancient DNA and isotopes and thinks it possible that DNA from the Stratford skeleton might help his research....
Name of source: The Four Shires (UK)
SOURCE: The Four Shires (UK) (4-5-11)
The live archaeological project will explore foundations and other remains thought to date from Shakespeare’s era, which were uncovered shortly before the Dig was put under wraps for winter.
Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Learning & Research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “We are now down to virgin ground which has not been excavated by previous expeditions. This is where we have the most exciting potential to shed new light on Shakespeare’s life and times.”
The Dig for Shakespeare has already unearthed evidence which is challenging the historic interpretation of how Shakespeare’s house would have looked, and how the property was used.
Paul Edmondson said, “The so-called ‘bay window’ identified by the antiquarian archaeologist Halliwell-Phillips in 1862 was thought to belong to the 18th century house at New Place. Halliwell stopped short when he reached the foundations, but we are now going deeper to excavate the underlying medieval features which could tell us much more about the house that Shakespeare bought and renovated, and how it related to Nash’s House next door, where his granddaughter lived .”...
Name of source: NY Times
SOURCE: NY Times (4-5-11)
Had it not been for some inadvertence, the tablet would almost certainly have disintegrated in the rain in a year or two and scattered with the wind as so much illiterate dust. The tablet seems to be a “page” from a bookkeeper’s note pad. Not meant to be saved as a permanent record, it was not baked in a kiln , but ended up in a refuse dump, where a fire hardened the clay for posterity.
The discoverers and other specialists in Greek history said the tablet, one of the oldest known examples of writing in mainland Europe, should cast light on the political structure and bureaucratic practices near the beginning of the renowned Mycenaean period, 1600 to 1100 B.C. At its height, the culture supported the splendor of palaces at Mycenae and Pylos and inspired the heroic legend of the Trojan War, immortalized in Homer’s Iliad....