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Saturday, Oct 01st

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The Myth of America: This is not your grandfather’s Columbus

To mark Columbus Day In 2004, the Medieval and Renaissance Center in UCLA published the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents. Its general editor, Geoffrey Symcox, leaves little room for ambivalence when he says, “This is not your grandfather’s Columbus….

While giving the brilliant mariner his due, the collection portrays Columbus as an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing - not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting biblical scripture - to advance his ambitions…. Many of the unflattering documents have been known for the last century or more, but nobody paid much attention to them until recently.

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Banned at Guantanamo library: Noam Chomsky (no surprise)

Professor Noam Chomsky may be among America's most enduring anti-war activists. But the leftist intellectual's anthology of post 9/11 commentary is taboo at Guantanamo's prison camp library, which offers books and videos on Harry Potter, World Cup soccer and Islam.

U.S. military censors recently rejected a Pentagon lawyer's donation of an Arabic-language copy of the political activist and linguistic professor's 2007 anthology "Interventions" for the library, which has more than 16,000 items.

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed to have Jewish past

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots. A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.

The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth.

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Gay penguins book is most banned

Authors, artists and musicians are due to gather at a library in San Francisco to protest against the banning of books in schools and libraries in the US. The event, part of the 27th annual Banned Books Week, has been organised by the American Library Association.

Since 2001 bans on 3,736 books and other materials have been requested. In recent years, And Tango Makes Three - based on a true story and centring on gay penguins in New York's Central Park Zoo - has had the most ban requests.

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Ex-bishop in N.S. facing child porn charges

A recently retired Roman Catholic bishop from Nova Scotia has been charged with possessing and importing child pornography.

Raymond Lahey, 69, who stunned his diocese by resigning suddenly as the bishop of Antigonish on Saturday, was charged Sept. 25 by the Ottawa police after images "of concern" were found on his laptop computer.

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How much government control of Web in cybercrisis?

There’s no kill switch for the Internet, no secret on-off button in an Oval Office drawer. Yet when a Senate committee was exploring ways to secure computer networks, a provision to give the president the power to shut down Internet traffic to compromised Web sites in an emergency set off alarms.

Corporate leaders and privacy advocates quickly objected, saying the government must not seize control of the Internet. Lawmakers dropped it, but the debate rages on. How much control should federal authorities have over the Web in a crisis?

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Titus, the most studied and photographed ape in history, has died

The king was a gorilla called Titus. Although he had been deposed by his son, death seemed to have restored him to his full glory. The mighty silverback was once the dominant head of a tight-knit group of the great apes whose kingdom was on the eastern slopes of the Visoke volcano in Rwanda's border lands, and a vital figure in the battle for the survival of the species.

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