Dracula's Kingdom!
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Dracula's Kingdom!

By Erik Kirschbaum 

SCHENKENDORF, Germany May 07, 2002 (Reuters) - If an affable antiques dealer who goes by the name of Count Dracula gets his way, Germany may soon have a small kingdom with low taxes and no bureaucracy within its borders. 

Fed up with intransigent state officials and high taxation, the curly-haired Berlin native and adopted descendent of the Romanian royal family has declared independence for his 38 acre estate lying in a forest region south of Berlin. 

The count, whose full name is Ottomar Rodolphe Vlad Dracula Prince Kretzulesco, is now trying to turn the entire village of Schenkendorf with its 1,200 inhabitants into the "Kingdom of Dracula" -- with important backing from local elected leaders. 

"We are going to take our battle for independence as far as we can," said Dracula, who was formally adopted by Dracula descendent Katarina Olympia Princess Kretzulesco Caradja in 1990, four years before she died. 

"We're very serious about it," said the heir of the 15th century Transylvanian prince whose rule inspired Irish novelist Bram Stoker's 19th century Dracula. "We're tired of the state working against us rather than for us. They have the mentality 'No, it won't work, No we can't do that, No that's not allowed'." 

Dracula, who used his famous name to set up a thriving restaurant and beer garden on the estate 40 miles south of Berlin, said there would be no bureaucrats in his kingdom and there would be a maximum tax rate of 20 percent. 

"We want to create a place where people can enjoy life, where they can laugh and wander through town with smiles rather than frowns on their faces," he said. "No more hassles, no more bureaucracy, no more frustration."


The state of Brandenburg is still treating the declaration of independence as a humorous matter even though Dracula has put up an official-looking sign reading "Kingdom of Dracula" on the road leading to his castle. 

Dracula, 61, has also begun printing about maroon-colored passports, complete with the blue, black and yellow Kretzulesco family crest. He is mulling a proposal to offer non-residents the chance to purchase "honorary citizenships." [For forty bucks! Ed.] He also has advanced plans for the kingdom's own stamps, car license plates and even hired a management company to help him market his kingdom, although he has so far steered away from any suggestion of creating a currency to rival the euro. 

"Legal reasons," he said. 

The 46-room "Dracula Castle," a 19th century three-story greystone mansion that bears little resemblance to the forbidding medieval castle of his dreaded Romanian namesake, would be at the center of the independent state. Dracula has set up a shadow government cabinet with the Schenkendorf mayor picked to become the first president while he himself would become the "kingdom's representative." 

Brandenburg Interior Minister Joerg Schoenbohm sparked the rebellion by issuing an order that would force Schenkendorf to merge with seven other small nearby villages -- an administrative act designed largely to cut state costs. 

"Perhaps Count Dracula can be persuaded by the argument that declaring a kingdom is unconstitutional," said Schoenbohm when confronted by the challenge that has drawn widespread local media coverage. "And if that doesn't work, we always have garlic."

Dracula said he wasn't amused by the "garlic defense" plans.

"Political leaders shouldn't make dumb comments like that," he retorted. 

The order from the state capital in Potsdam to create a single large town with 8,700 residents spread out over a six square mile radius has stirred widespread opposition in the region, especially in Schenkendorf. Lutz Krause, Schenkendorf's deputy mayor and the Kingdom's designated "interior minister," said Dracula's initiative may have been launched as a gag but it has since taken on a life of its own. He said town leaders fully backed the kingdom plans. 

"We want to remain an independent town," Krause said. "We are completely against the state's decision to forcibly incorporate the villages here. We've always been an independent town, for more than 600 years now." 

Krause, a part-time politician who owns a local electrician company, acknowledges the idea to create an independent "Kingdom of Dracula" in the middle of depressed eastern Germany was more of a tourist attraction than a genuine threat to the state. But he insisted the campaign for independence was no longer a laughing matter. 

"Certainly it was at first a gimmick to get some attention for our complaints about the forced incorporation of the villages," Krause said. "But in the meantime it has developed far beyond that. There are indeed legal hurdles, but we are evaluating how far we can go."


Count Dracula, a philanthropist at heart, has in the past often tried to attract attention to useful causes with his unusual name. 

He has, for example, hosted popular "blood donor" festival on his estate for the German Red Cross, rising from a coffin to open parties that have been attended by thousands of donors who have left behind more than 3,000 liters of blood. He has also raised charity money for an orphanage in Romania. His estate has also been used for medieval jousting festivals. The menu at the restaurant includes "Dracula sausages" filled with garlic and blood-red schnapps. 

A charismatic figure with a full mustache who often glides into his restaurant and its popular beer garden wearing an elegant tailcoat, Dracula has extraordinary aura. Born in west Berlin as Ottomar Berbig and trained as a baker, Dracula delights in telling the story about how he got the famous name. 

He had given up baking and was an antiques dealer in West Berlin when an elderly woman entered his store one day in 1978 wanting to sell heirlooms. The dealer and Princess Kretzulesco Caradja became friends and she invited him to go to Paris to meet the rest of her family. 

"She said I looked 'Romanian'," Dracula said. She later told him the family had no male heirs to carry the family name so she decided to adopt him. 

"It's a name you can't forget," he said. 

Stake out Drac at http://www.prince-dracula.com  (Hint: jump to the left for English version.)

[The real Dracula, Vlad Tepes, a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler, was not from Germany. Vlad was born in Sighisoara, Transylvania (northern Romania) in 1431. Ed.]

Grave of bin Laden Found at Aleqehl?

By Tom Newton Dunn

Tora Bora May 8 2002 (Daily Record) - Troops in Afghanistan say they may have found Osama bin Laden's grave. Samples from 23 bodies are being DNA-tested after Canadian soldiers stumbled on an al-Qaeda cemetery near the madman's fallen stronghold at Tora Bora.

Captain Philip Nicholson, who led the hunt at the graveyard, said: "It's quite possible bin Laden could be there."

The terrorists buried in the village of Aleqehl are Arabs like bin Laden. The Canadians say some were his bodyguards. Driven from Tora Bora by US and Afghan forces, the 23 were trapped in mountains and blown to pieces by bombs and shell fire. Local villagers say "a very big man" was one of the group. Allied forces hunting bin Laden are sure he was in Tora Bora at the time.

A local Taliban commander made villagers bury the bodies after the battle last December. Up to 1000 people came to a funeral for the men, suggesting a VIP was among them. And the well-kept cemetery has now become a holy site, with pilgrims walking miles to visit it. The graves are lit at night and marked with green and white flags reserved for Moslem "martyrs".

The 400-strong Canadian force had been looking for information on what happened to al-Qaeda leaders at Tora Bora. SAS undercover teams found caves for the Canadians to explore. But the force came upon the Aleqehl cemetery by chance after a pilgrim was seen praying there.

The Canadians dug by hand for two days to recover the badly damaged and decomposed bodies. As each corpse was pulled out, forensic experts from the US army collected hair and skin samples. An FBI team supervised the dig.

One of the soldiers involved, Corporal Troy McCann, said: "It was pretty horrible work but I'd certainly feel real proud if we were the guys who found bin Laden."

The force's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Pat Storgan, said: "Local people told us 23 special fighters were taken down from the mountains. One was a very big man who was given the best position in the cemetery. Bin Laden did fight at Tora Bora and very little has been seen of him since. Finding him at the cemetery may be a long shot. But if it is not him, we expect it to be one of his senior lieutenants."

The DNA samples from Aleqehl are being tested in secret. Relatives of bin Laden have given some of their DNA so scientists can make comparisons. But the Americans, in overall command of the operation, are keen to play down the find in case it is another false alarm.

Dozens of rumors persist about bin Laden's fate. Some say he is buried under tons of rock in one of many bombed-out caves at Tora Bora, while others insist he fled into nearby Pakistan. A Pakistani newspaper report last year said bin Laden had been buried near Tora Bora. But it also claimed he died of natural causes. The Canadians were sent to Tora Bora after battlefield pictures from US Predator spy planes suggested top al-Qaeda leaders were killed there.

The spy planes spotted senior terrorists running into caves which were smashed minutes later by American bombs. Tons of debris stopped the Canadians getting into three of the four caves they wanted to check. They are likely to return to the area with heavy machinery.

British Royal Marines continued the hunt for al-Qaeda in south-east Afghanistan yesterday. A 1000-strong force has been involved in Operation Snipe for eight days but the Commandos have yet to find the enemy.

Songwriter Otis Blackwell Dead at 70

NASHVILLE, Tenn. May 7, 2002 (AP) - Otis Blackwell, who wrote dozens of hit songs including "Don't Be Cruel" and "All Shook Up" for Elvis Presley, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 70.

Blackwell wrote more than 1,000 songs that were recorded by performers such as Ray Charles, Billy Joel, The Who, James Taylor, Otis Redding, Peggy Lee and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Some of Blackwell's other credits include "Great Balls of Fire" and "Breathless," both recorded by Lewis; "Handy Man" by Taylor; "Fever" by Lee; "Daddy Rolling Stone" by The Who; and "Return to Sender" and "All Shook Up," each recorded by Presley.

Blackwell was credited with writing songs that sold more than 185 million copies.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Blackwell grew up wanting to be a singer. While recording songs for a small company in New York City, he was asked to write songs as well.

Blackwell often sang the songs himself before they were recorded, and some music historians believe his style influenced Presley's.

Bush Recognizes Indian Sovereignty on the Web
By Robert Taylor
Staff Reporter
Indian Country Today

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 03, 2002 (ICT) - In a possible breakthrough for the Bush Administration’s understanding of tribal sovereignty, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of the Interior eGovernment initiative announced April 26 that recognized tribes may participate in a program that will them to use the ".gov" domain name suffix on their official web sites.

"This has been an idea bandied around for quite some time; for it to happen now affirms President Bush’s policy of treating American Indian tribes as sovereign governments," said Interior Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb.

The GSA is the government agency that grants the .gov domain name suffix to government entities and the suffixes are generally used to identify the function of a specific organization. Currently, many tribes use the .nsn suffix meaning "native sovereign nation."

Steve Adams, accounting director and web site manager for the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), said the ".gov" designation helps to establish a more government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government.

"For us it recognizes that the administration is at least making an effort to recognize tribes as a government entity," said Adams. "It’s a small gesture, but an important gesture."

President Bush’s Management and Performance Agenda has set the e-Government program as a top initiative, according to the DOI. The initiative is intended to provide pertinent information about tribal programs and agencies and business transactions and to provide services to individuals over the Internet on a "24-7" basis.

A statement from the DOI said a tribe would need to apply to the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs to receive the domain name suffix. Tribes will need to include a letter of application, a tribal resolution or minutes of a meeting granting authorization or designating an individual as being authorized to make the written request. An example of web content guidelines for the new sites can be obtained by contacting Paul Marsden, e-Government Officer at (703) 390-6308.

Registration can also take place at http://www.gov-registration.gov 

High School Mummy Has Her Day 


Naperville IL May 6, 2002 (Chicago Sun-Times) - Butch, Naperville Central High School's treasured Egyptian mummy, needs a new nickname. It turns out the child mummy probably was a girl.

DNA analysis of the mummy's tooth shows, with more than 99 percent certainty, that it was female. The tests were commissioned by National Geographic's "The Mummy Road Show," a weekly cable TV series that is producing a documentary on the mummy, which will air in the summer or fall.

"So now we can't call her Butch any more," the school Web site said. "Any ideas for a new name?"

Naperville Central is believed to be the only high school in the country to own a mummy. A local doctor apparently purchased the mummy decades ago, when mummies were sold openly to tourists.

He gave the mummy to the local historical society, which donated it to the school in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

The mummy, which appears to be of a child between 7 and 9 years old, ended up on the floor of a storage room, wrapped in drapes. Around 1975, a teacher rediscovered it while looking for artifacts to use in his anthropology class.

There were holes in the mummy's side, and parts of the skull and leg bone were visible through the deteriorating wrappings. The head was wobbly and a foot was coming loose.

The University of Chicago's Oriental Institute repaired the mummy in the early 1990s. And the mummy recently received a new $4,000 mahogany display case.

A local clinic that took CT scans and X-rays of the mummy in 1994 concluded the child was a boy, based on the configuration of the hips. But the new DNA tests failed to find evidence of the male Y chromosome, indicating the child was almost certainly female.

The new tests also included radiocarbon dating. Researchers now are 93 percent certain the mummy dates to between 55 B.C. and 30 B.C. This would put her in the Ptolemaic period, a time when Egypt was ruled by Greeks. Her family probably was wealthy.

Naperville Central's Mummy Web Pages - http://www.ncusd203.org/central/mummyweb 

Speaking of Mum...

By Mary Wiltenburg
Christian Science Monitor 

May 8, 2002 (CSM) - From bowling to nursery rhymes, patron saints to iron ore, our language is peppered with references to motherhood. We all have a motherland, a mother tongue, and, we hope, some mother wit – but how many know what it means to spot a mother cloud, or serve in the Mother Green? This Mother's Day, the Monitor looks at some familiar "mothers" – and some you may not have heard of.

Mother Ann - The founder and spiritual leader of the American Society of Shakers, Ann Lee was born in Manchester, England, in 1736 and worked as a child in the textile mills.

When her own four children died young, she joined a religious group referred to as the "Shaking Quakers," whose members gave themselves over to being physically and spiritually "moved by the spirit of God."

Ann began having visions and attracting followers among the group; she felt Christ Jesus was speaking to her directly. While imprisoned for her beliefs, she had a vision of Jesus and told her followers that his appearance to her "showed that his second coming would be as a woman." Historians disagree about whether her followers believed her to be this second coming, or merely a prophet. Either way, in 1774 they traveled with her to America to escape further persecution.

Mother cloud - The cloud from which the funnel of a tornado descends.

Mother Green - A nickname for the United States Marine Corps, used by career soldiers during the Vietnam War.

Mother Goose - No one knows if this legendary author of popular children's rhymes – often pictured as an old woman riding on a gander – ever existed. Scholars who believe she did suggest as her namesake everyone from the biblical Queen of Sheba to Charlemagne's mother, Queen Bertha.

Others argue for a woman named Elizabeth Goose, Vergoose, or Vertigoose, who supposedly lived in colonial Boston. But no evidence supports these claims.

More likely, the title of the famous 1781 nursery rhyme collection "Mother Goose's Melody" was derived from an engraving in the front of a 1697 book of fairy tales by French author Charles Perrault. It features an old woman telling a tale; a sign behind her reads "Contes de Ma Mère L'Oye" (or "Tales of My Mother Goose,"), an expression meaning "old wives' tales."

In 1768, an English version of Perrault's book was published under the title "Mother Goose's Tales." The book was so popular that its publisher, John Newbery, decided to capitalize on its fame by releasing "Mother Goose's Melody."

Mother Hubbard - A term used alternately to refer to a long shapeless dress often worn for housework, or to the woman supposed to have worn it: a 16th-century character from the Mother Goose rhyme beginning "Old Mother Hubbard/ Went to the cupboard/ To fetch her poor dog a bone...."

Mother-in-law - This term for the mother of a person's husband or wife doubles as the name of the back seat on a two-seater airplane and the number 7 pin in bowling.

Mother Jones - Charismatic spitfire Mary Harris Jones was a legendary labor organizer of the early 1900s. After a childhood of abject poverty in Ireland, she lost her husband and four young children to yellow fever and vowed to do something for the working poor. She earned a reputation as a fierce eccentric with a sharp tongue and a gift for rallying people around her. Among the leaders of several union and political groups, she organized miners, bottle washers, child mill workers, steelworkers, and streetcar operators.

Mother lode - Literally the name for the main vein of ore in a mine, the expression "to hit the mother lode" has, since the 1880s, meant "to strike it rich."

Mother Teresa - Winner of the Nobel Prize for her work with the poor of Calcutta, India, Mother Teresa was born Agnes Bojaxhiu in Skopje, now the capital of Macedonia, in 1910. At 18 she left home to do missionary work, only to spend the next 20 years teaching in an aristocratic Calcutta convent school.

In 1950, she received permission from the Vatican to start her own order, the Missionaries of Charity, who vow "to put [themselves] entirely and wholeheartedly at the free service of the poor." Today the order numbers more than 3,000 sisters, 500 brothers, and 4 million lay workers worldwide; their projects include street outreach, clinics, children's homes, homes for the dying, and a leper colony.

Necessity is ...  Where would've Edison been without it?

Mother's Day - Julia Ward Howe, who wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," suggested the idea of a "Mothers' Peace Day" in 1872, but the first public observance of Mother's Day in the US was in 1907, in Grafton, W.Va. That year Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia asked her mother's old church to host a celebration on the anniversary of the death of her mother, a Civil War-era activist. Many cities and states adopted the tradition before President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day, celebrated on the second Sunday in May, a national holiday in 1914.

Unfortunately, Ms. Jarvis's achievement soon turned sour for her, and she spent her maternal inheritance campaigning – even filing lawsuits and getting arrested – to stop the commercialization of the holiday. Shortly before her death, she told a reporter that she was sorry she had ever started Mother's Day.

Sources: 'The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang,' 'The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,' 'What Where When New England,' Mojo Wire, 'The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins,' and the Nobel Museum.

[TVLand will feature four of TV's favorite moms on a TV Land Mother's Day Marathon, starting at 8PM (EST). The selected moms are from The Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy, Leave It To Beaver and The Donna Reed Show. Ed.]

The Cheek of It! Streaker Bares All for Queen!

LONDON May 08, 2002 (Reuters) - A male streaker gave Britain's Queen Elizabeth a revealing surprise during a visit to the northern English town of Gateshead on Tuesday when he ran naked in front of her black limousine. 

The man, wearing only a pair of running shoes, faced jeers from crowds of royalists who had lined the streets to greet the 76-year-old monarch, celebrating 50 years on the throne this year. 

Four burly police officers wrestled the man to the ground, and sat on him while the royal procession passed. 

One grey-haired woman, bedecked in Union Jack scarf and plastic hat, emerged from the crowd to express her anger at the sign of disrespect. 

Newcastle police said they had arrested a 27-year-old man and that he was being questioned.

How Proteins Talk to Each Other
By Patrice Pages

May 6, 2002 (BNL) — Proteins perform distinct and very well-defined tasks, but little is known about how interactions among them are structured at the cellular level. Now, two physicists reveal that—at least in yeast cells—these interactions are not random, but well organized.

"Although scientists understand how a given protein interacts with other proteins, the way they connect with each other as a whole remains mysterious," says Sergei Maslov, a physicist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of the study's two authors. 

For the last 10 years, Maslov, an expert in statistical physics, has been studying complex systems such as collections of particles, proteins, and networked computers.

In the new study, Maslov and physicist Kim Sneppen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology used computer modeling to look at how proteins interact with each other. 

Although scientists know that some proteins are very busy "talking" to many other proteins, Maslov and Sneppen discovered that such highly connected proteins are unlikely to "talk" to each other. To illustrate this intriguing phenomenon, Maslov uses the analogy of airline "hubs."

"Each airline company has a network of flights connecting different cities," he says. "But when a city serves as a hub for one company, the neighboring cities are mostly served by this company. Also, the hub is served mainly by this company and not by another big company. So the two big companies rarely 'talk' to each other." 

The scientists think that proteins interact this way to reduce interference among the messages of proteins that crisscross each other in the cell. The other possible advantage of this protein interaction pattern is to make the protein network inside the cell more stable. "Proteins with many connections seem not to want to be disturbed by wrong messages or anything 'harmful' to these proteins," Maslov says. 

To determine which among the 6,000 yeast proteins interact with each other, Maslov and Sneppen collected data on protein interactions in yeast cells from a public database. They then compared the resulting network of interactions to a simulated pattern—produced by a computer-modeling program—in which proteins interact randomly.

"If you took a given number of proteins and distributed interactions among them randomly, you would hardly find any particular protein that would have a lot of interactions. Proteins would all 'talk' randomly with each other in such a network," Maslov says. "So, hubs of highly-interacting proteins are not something that you would expect to happen by pure chance."

But the scientists did observe hubs of interacting proteins in the yeast cells. The connections between hub proteins reveal an "emergent property" that acts beyond the level of the functions of the individual proteins and makes them act together to coordinate their functions. Studying these interactions can help identify these coordinated functions, and may also reveal intrinsic features of the interacting proteins. 

The "holistic" approach taken by Maslov is part of an ongoing interdisciplinary effort in which scientists are trying to understand phenomena involving many proteins, such as diseases. Understanding of how protein interaction networks are designed might, for instance, help scientists better understand the causes of cancer.
One of the hubs in the human protein network, called p53, has a major role in preventing cells from developing into a tumor. 

"The computer modeling program developed in this work can be applied to interactions in other networks such as food webs in ecosystems, neural networks, the Internet, and even among stock market agents," Maslov says.

The results of this study are published in the May 3, 2002, issue of Science.

Web News!

Worldwide Web Weather Watchers Wanted

By Mark Ward 
BBC News Technology Correspondent 

Oxford May 7, 2002 (BBC) - Net users will soon get the chance to take part in a grand experiment to work out how global climate could change over the next 50 years. Scientists have developed software that simulates 100 years of worldwide weather patterns in order to refine predictions about global warming and its effect on climate. 

Climatologists already have some ideas about climate change over the next 50 years, but they need the help of thousands of people running the simulation to find out the full breadth of potential outcomes. The 100-year simulation software is expected to be ready in late summer and those downloading it must be prepared to let the model run for at least eight months. 

The climateprediction.com experiment is similar to the Seti@home project, started in 1997, that uses idle home computers to look for signs of alien intelligence in radio signals collected by telescopes. However, climateprediction.com has one crucial difference. 

"The Seti@home project is analysing data from a central source, we are generating it on PCs and will analyse it ourselves," said Dave Frame, a climateprediction.com developer and researcher at the University of Oxford department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, UK. 

Each simulation carried out by climateprediction.com participants will be unique because all of them will use slightly different starting conditions. 

"This is a fully-fledged research climate model," said Dr Myles Allen, project leader for climateprediction.com and a physicist in the Space Science and Technology Department of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. It's not a stripped down 'toy' version, so the runs take time." 

The unpredictable physics of weather patterns means that they could generate very different end results. The simulation will cover the hundred years from 1950 to 2050. The results of the simulations will be returned to the climateprediction.com team who will then pick the ones that generated global temperature changes similar to those seen during the period 1950 to 2000. 

Although it is impossible to forecast weather patterns for specific regions many years ahead, phenomena such as global temperature patterns do seem predictable, said Dr Allen. 

"That's one of the most intriguing things about the planet," he added. "Its large scale behaviour is simpler than its small scale behaviour." 

With a vast range of simulations done, it should be possible to get an idea of the full range of possible changes to global climate over the next 50 years, said Dr Allen. At the moment climatologists had only explored a small fraction of all the possible outcomes and this had inevitably led to disputes about the effects of global warming, he said. 

"Quantifying the uncertainty is something we cannot do at the moment," he said. The project needed at least 20,000 participants and would cap numbers at two million. To reward participants, the simulation will be interactive and will let people fly around their programmed planet and watch how weather patterns change. 

"We cannot just tell participants: 'thank you very much'", said Dr Allen "They have to get something back out of this, too." 

The simulation software should be ready in time for August to coincide with a UN conference held to mark the 10th anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that attempted to start tackling problems wrought by climate change. 

[NOTE: The climateprediction.com site says that you will need a lot of disk space to participate (unlike the SETI project, this one is not a screensaver) - "600MB free to allocate to this experiment". Ed.]

Check it out at http://www.climateprediction.com 

Florida Killer Posts Personal Ad for Cyber-Friend 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. May 07, 2002 (Reuters) - The online personal ad reads nicely, describing a world-traveler and scholar who loves cooking, water sports, yoga and hiking. 

"Hi, I'm Bill. I'm compassionate, 6' 2" 200 lbs. athletic guy who enjoys Mediterranean food, the poetry of Keats and Kavafy, and baroque music," says the ad, accompanied by a photo of a smiling, benign-looking fellow. 

What William Coday's ad doesn't say is that he used hammers to kill two ex-girlfriends. 

"I just find it very interesting that he chose to leave out some important details about his criminal history," Broward County prosecutor Chuck Morton, who helped convict Coday of murder in April, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 

The web site where the ad is posted offers potential pen-pals a clue -- www.cyberspace-inmates.com. Coday also offers up his inmate number along with a post office box. 

A jury convicted Coday, a former librarian in Fort Lauderdale, of first-degree murder for beating and stabbing his girlfriend, Gloria Gomez, after she broke up with him in 1997. According to trial evidence, Gomez had 57 wounds from the hammer and 87 stab wounds and gashes. 

The jury was not told that Coday was previously convicted of manslaughter for killing another ex-girlfriend in 1978 in Germany. He admitted using a shoemaker's hammer to beat her to death and served 18 months in a German prison. 

The personal ad also didn't say that Coday is awaiting a sentencing hearing in June at which a judge will decide whether he gets life in prison or the death penalty.

British Comedy Site Raises Nostalgic Laughs

By Brian Wheeler 
BBC News Online 

London May 3, 2002 (BBC) - The internet is awash with comedy. 

Everything from The Benny Hill Show to Auf Wiedersehen, Pet seems to have its own discussion forum and online video store. The latest addition to the genre is ClassicComedy.net, created by Richard Bentine - son of the late Goon Michael Bentine. 

Richard Bentine says he grew tired of trying to persuade TV companies to show his late father's material so on 1 April 2002 he put it on the internet. He also managed to secure the rights to classic Benny Hill and Monty Python material, which has been chopped up into easily-downloadable 10 second clips. 

This is where the site really scores. 

Perennial favorites like The Dead Parrot Sketch and The Upper Class Twit of the Year exert a powerful pull on people of a certain age and the best bits are here to view any time of the day and night, for all eternity. 

As so much British comedy is based around catchphrases - for example, "Nudge, nudge, wink, wink" and "And now for something completely different" - it is perfect for this soundbite format. And soon you will be able to e-mail videograms of your favorite clips to friends. 

Richard Bentine is in the process of securing the rights to the work of other performers, from comedy's golden years right up to today's cutting edge stand-ups. If nothing else, he has already succeeded in raising the profile of his late father's work.

People who grew up in the 1970s will chiefly remember Michael Bentine for Potty Time, where he always seemed to be surrounded by small furry creatures firing cannons at each other. His humor is old-school zany. Not to everyone's taste, possibly. But judging from the responses on the site's message board there is more of an appetite for Potty Time, The Bumblies and other Bentine creations, than even his son might have thought. He has already begun adding longer clips from his dad's back catalogue. 

ClassicComedy.net has fewer bells and whistles than some of the comedy sites out there, particularly the Monty Python ones. But it is put together with obvious knowledge and affection. If, as promised, it builds up into a library of classic comedy clips it could be really something. 

Definitely one to watch.

eStar Stargazers Watch Via the Web

By Mark Ward 
BBC News Technology Correspondent

Liverpool May 3, 2002 (BBC) - Astronomers, schoolchildren and interested amateurs could soon be watching the sky with the help of a network of telescopes controlled via the internet. The eStar project eventually hopes to use at least six telescopes, three in each hemisphere, to form the remote controlled network. 

Observation time on the instruments will be shared out among astronomers, students, schoolchildren and amateurs who want to use them to research, or simply see, the celestial objects that they are curious about. 

The network will also use smart software that will automatically spot interesting or changing objects by searching through online databases and then mobilizing telescopes to check its findings. 

Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Exeter are collaborating on the eStar project, which already has three telescopes operating. Dr Dave Carter, one of the eStar project scientists, said that the creation of the network should ease chronic overcrowding on existing two-meter telescopes. 

"Two-meter telescopes are over-subscribed by a factor of three or five," he said. 

A network of telescopes was useful, he said, because it would allow astronomers to permanently track objects rather than lose sight of them as they did when using a single observatory. Having access to a collection of telescopes also means that the instrument in the best position to watch an object can always be trained on it. He said eStar would use John Moores' own telescope in the Canary Isles and had commitments from other telescopes in Hawaii and Japan. 

Eventually, the project hopes to be working with publicly and privately owned telescopes in Australia, Chile, India, China, the USA and South Africa. 

The network will also be used by the National Schools Observatory which will give schoolchildren and students access to astronomical instruments. One of the most important aspects of the project is the plan to create smart software that can aid astronomers in their research. Eventually work done to standardize information in astronomical databases will let these software agents check data, call up research papers and spot how objects are changing over time. 

An early version of the smart software was unveiled at the launch of the National e-Science Centre in Edinburgh in late April and has already been used to look for dwarf novae. Dr Carter said the only downside of the project was that it could mean far fewer trips to the Canary Isles and Hawaii for European astronomers. 

The eStar project is being funded by the DTI and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. There are some other remotely operated telescopes already available via the web. 

Since 1993, the University of Bradford has been running one sitting on the Moors in West Yorkshire. In October 2001, the University of Glamorgan placed a remotely operated scope on the roof of the tallest building on its campus.

Catholic Board Won't Allow Gay Prom Date

By Amy Carmichael
Canadian Press 

Oshawa, Canada May 7, 2002 - (Toronto Star) - A Roman Catholic school board can't let a gay student take his boyfriend to the prom because he is a "bad example" and doing so would condone homosexual relationships, a lawyer argued in court today.

"He's an example we cannot approve," said Durham District Catholic School Board lawyer Peter Lauwers. "He's a bad example from a Catholic perspective and what he wants to do is not consistent with teachings of the church." 

Marc Hall, a 17-year-old who attends Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic high school in nearby Oshawa, is asking the Superior Court of Justice for an injunction to allow him to take his boyfriend, Jean-Paul Dumond, 21, to his prom Friday. Marc's father Audy Hall said outside the court he thought his son was a good example. "He's an example of somebody with a lot of courage who's fighting for something he believes in."

Lauwers told the court the school board has the right under the Constitution to run its schools in accordance with Catholic teachings and if Hall doesn't like it he can go to a public school.

"The ability to take matters of faith into account when we make decisions about the conduct of students is clearly within our denominational rights."

He said the judge would be setting a dangerous precedent if he ruled in Hall's favor. It would take away the school board's right to act "in a Catholic perspective in a situation where faith, teaching and school administration intersect.

"For Mr. Hall, it's just one night, but for the board the decision is much more profound," Lauwers told the court. He said the judge must look at what Catholic school is all about: infusing Catholic values into education. "We're about indoctrination, plain and simple."

Hall said outside the court he agrees with everything the Catholic Church says, except its views on homosexuality. 

"You know, they say love and respect thy neighbor, but I don't see them doing that right now," Hall said leaning on the arm of his boyfriend.

He said he will continue to attend Catholic school when the prom and the court case are behind him. Hall's lawyer David Corbett told the court the board should teach its values in the classroom, not through extracurricular activities. 

Lauwers said Hall and other gay students can attend school dances if they follow the rules of the board and go "stag."

"But if they manifest romance they would be stopped," Lauwers said.

"So they can't dance?" Justice Robert MacKinnon asked.


"I'm having a good time, but I can't dance," MacKinnon said to laughter from court spectators.

Douglas Elliot, another lawyer for Hall, said outside the court the judge illuminated just how "absurd" the board's position is. Hall's lawyers argued Monday the board violated the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Education Act and the provincial Code of Conduct that all bar discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

Corbett argued the church's right to consider religious values when regulating student's conduct doesn't trump Hall's human rights. The larger question to be answered at a trial, he added, is whether Catholic schools can "say to their gay and lesbian students, suffer discrimination by our hand, or leave." The board says it accepts gay people, but doesn't condone a gay lifestyle.

Lauwers noted the Catholic tradition follows a well-established practice of making a sharp distinction between person and conduct. He quoted bishops who said attending the prom is an act of courtship that leads to marriage, the only context in which sex is allowed and an option for heterosexuals only. Gay students can attend basketball games and other school functions together, if they aren't romantically involved, Lauwers told the court. 

But if they kiss, hold hands or dance on school property, they could be disciplined, even suspended or expelled.

MacKinnon reserved his decision Tuesday, calling it the most difficult in almost 10 years as a judge. He said he will attempt to provide his ruling in time for Friday's prom.

Catholic Priest Pleads Not Guilty To Rape
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. May 7, 2002 (AP) — A retired Roman Catholic priest charged with repeatedly raping a young boy, sometimes in the church confessional, pleaded not guilty today and was ordered held on $750,000 (U.S.) cash bail.

Rev. Paul Shanley, 71, who is charged with three counts of child rape, had recently left the country and is a flight risk, prosecutor Lynn Rooney said during the arraignment in Newton District Court.

Defence lawyer Frank Mondano had asked that Shanley be released on his own recognizance and immediately requested that a higher judge review the bail decision. The review was scheduled for today afternoon in Middlesex Superior Court. In addition to setting bail, Judge Dyanne Klein ordered Shanley to surrender his passport and avoid contact with children under age 16.

Shanley, shackled and wearing a collared red shirt over a red T-shirt and grey pants, indicated he was struggling to hear Klein when she entered pleas of innocent on his behalf.

"I'm having trouble," he said, motioning to a hearing aid in his right ear. Shanley was arrested in San Diego on Thursday, several weeks after police first began searching for him. He was returned to Massachusetts on Monday, under tight security and wearing a bulletproof vest.

Shanley is one of the priests at the center of a scandal that has rocked the Boston archdiocese and led to calls for Bernard Cardinal Law's resignation. Rooney noted today that Shanley had recently been in Thailand. She read excerpts of several letters to church officials in which Shanley talked about fleeing the country.

"It might be cheaper and it might allay the concerns of the victims," Shanley wrote in a January 1994 letter proposing moving to Costa Rica.

Rooney also read letters she said referred to apparent past attempts by church officials to help Shanley hide. In one letter, Rev. Brian Flatley detailed a September 1995 conversation with Shanley in which he discussed living in another country with a post office box in the United States to preserve his anonymity.

"Given his resourcefulness and independence, I think this is probably a good plan for him," Flatley wrote.

Shanley's lawyer said Shanley had neither the means nor the intention to leave the country, pointing out he had family and other ties to Massachusetts.

"He stands before this court as an innocent man in connection to these charges and he has never been convicted on other charges," Mondano said. 

Middlesex County prosecutors said Shanley would take the victim, now 24, out of religious education classes at St. John Parish in Newton and rape him in various places, including the rectory, bathroom and confessional. They allege the abuse occurred from 1983 to 1990. The victim came forward within the last two weeks after reading news reports about the Shanley case. Police, fearing Shanley would flee the country, moved quickly to arrest him after a TV station located him last week.

Documents released in a civil suit by a different alleged victim of Shanley showed archdiocese officials knew of dozens of sex abuse allegations against him, but still moved him between parishes. The archdiocese also didn't warn the Diocese of San Bernardino when he moved there in 1990. The documents also showed officials knew Shanley advocated sex between boys and men and had contracted venereal disease.

Shanley retired in 1993 and had been serving as a volunteer in the San Diego Police Department until April, when he was fired after officials learned of the allegations against him.r
Miracle of 2nd Century Bowl Saved from Taliban

By Maev Kennedy
Arts and Heritage Correspondent

Kabul May 3, 2002 (The Guardian) - The art historian Dan Cruickshank has become the first outsider in years to see one of the lost treasures of the Kabul museum, a 2nd century AD stone wine bowl carved with Bacchanalian scenes of naked women and satyrs dancing and feasting. The museum curators risked their lives to protect it from the Taliban. 

"You can hardly conceive of an object more likely to arouse the Taliban wrath. Its survival is really a miracle," Mr Cruickshank said. "It was made to hold wine, it came from a Buddhist region of the country yet it shows very clearly the influence of many other cultures including Indian and classical Greek art." 

The bowl, which is two feet across and could have held three gallons of wine, was hidden in the museum's most secure store in the basement under the ministry of information. The curators first feigned illness when the Taliban demanded to inspect the stores. By the time they were forced to open the crates, they had plastered over the carved decoration to disguise it. The ruse worked: the bowl was almost the only survivor, nearly everything else was smashed to fragments. 

In the art gallery a curator used water colour to paint out animals and human beings, and those canvases were also spared. Mr Cruickshank was present when some of the camouflage was sponged away. 

Many museum treasures, particularly anything with religious connections, went in the same orgy of destruction last year when the Taliban destroyed the giant ancient images of the Buddha at Bamiyan. 

The museum director, Orma Khan Massoudi, said: "They were in a frenzy. They broke all the artefacts they found offensive by smashing them on the floor and using hammers. What we had conserved for years was destroyed before our eyes. It was difficult to watch." 

The bowl may have escaped because it was excavated in 1974 - too late for the museum catalogue, which the Taliban used as a guide.

Genre News: The Rolling Stones Blimp, Jamie Foxx, Spider-man, Buffy, Ozzy, X-Men, Daredevil & More!

Stones Announce World Tour

Members of the Rolling Stones, drummer Charlie Watts (L), lead singer Mick Jagger (2nd L), guitarist Ron Wood (2nd R) and guitarist Keith Richards pose for pictures after arriving at a press conference in a blimp in New York City, May 7, 2002. The band announced their 2002-2003 world concert tour which will start in Boston on September 5. Photos by Peter Morgan/Reuters 

Foxx Will Play Ray Charles
By Zorianna Kit 

Hollywood May 07, 2002 (Hollywood Reporter) - Jamie Foxx will star as legendary musician Ray Charles in Crusader Entertainment's "Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story," with Mark Rydell in talks to direct.

The project would mark the second time both actor and director have worked on a project based on a real-life personality. Foxx starred as Bundini Brown in Columbia Pictures' biopic "Ali," while Rydell most recently directed TNT's biopic "James Dean."

"Unchain," penned by newcomer Jimmy White, follows Charles' rags-to-riches story from his poor beginnings in Albany, Ga., to his rise through the music industry while battling racism, drug use and problems in love. Charles, now 71, lost his sight to glaucoma at age 6.

Columbia Spins 2004 Date for 'Spider-Man 2' 
By Gregg Kilday

Hollywood May 07, 2002 (Hollywood Reporter) - With "Spider-Man" already positioned as the film to beat among the summer 2002 contestants after its record-shattering $114.8 million debut, Columbia Pictures is plunking down its marker on the comparable early May weekend in 2004 to launch a sequel.

"Spider-Man 2," which is scheduled to begin production next year with director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst reteaming, will bow nationwide on May 7, 2004.
In making the announcement, Jeff Blake, president of worldwide marketing and distribution for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, said, "It took a superhero to deliver these historic numbers. The cast and filmmakers were dedicated to Stan Lee's imaginative vision, and Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst deserve our thanks and all the credit for bringing Spider-Man to life in such a magnificent, memorable and exciting way." 

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Cindy Pearlman says Marvel movie executive Avi Arad told her that the upcoming Spider-Man sequel could feature Doctor Octopus as Spidey's new nemesis.

"We're just starting to write the script, but Doctor Octopus might make a good villain," Arad said. "I can't confirm anything, except that we'll push it to the limits in the sequel. The sequel can't be the next chapter or a retread."

Buffy's Giles Will Haunt The BBC

London May 6, 2002 (Sci Fi Wire) - Anthony Stewart Head, who played Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, told SCI FI Wire that his character will be a changed man when he begins his own BBC series in the United Kingdom--once developmental snags are ironed out.

"He will be different, because his motivation is different," Head said in an interview from England. "As part of Buffy, he's very much part of Buffy's world. He is an appendage of Buffy, if you like. He is there to help her, to instruct her, to a certain extent to father her, but not overtly. Over here, he's very much alone and very much haunted by his own ghosts, as well as other people's, because it's basically about ghosts."

Buffy creator Joss Whedon wants to call the show Ripper, a reference to Giles' secret past, which may or may not be revealed as the show unfolds. The show may also be named The Watcher. As for when a show of any name can be expected, Head said that depends on how contractual issues are worked out.

"Joss is looking at doing a two-hour pilot, although I believe the BBC have actually commissioned a six-part series," Head said. "The difficulty is that I don't think it's been done before, where an American show has then spawned a spin-off this side of the Atlantic. So it creates a number of problems just with contractual and obligational problems with [Buffy production studio] Fox and whatnot, which all have to be ironed out. And it's something that one doesn't want to rush, because we want to get it right. Hopefully, Joss is coming over this summer, and we'll be able to talk more about it."

Another problem is simply Whedon's schedule, Head said. "The main difficulty is that he has to find someone who can run the show over here, and basically to do that, he has to find [another] him, and that's not an easy thing. He would certainly direct one or two of them, but he wouldn't be able to commit too much of his time. Although he adores England, he's needed over there [in America]. Now he's got [the upcoming SF show] Firefly [on the Fox network] going and Buffy still up and running. He's got the [proposed Buffy] cartoon series coming up and Angel. He's got a lot of irons in the fire. I'm not greedy. I'm not going to push him. But we do talk about it, and I think in terms of timing, it would be right if we could do something maybe early next year."

Ozzy Meets Bush

Washington March 6, 2002 (TV Guide) - Ozzy Osbourne's visit to the White House this weekend appeared to be a success, reports Reuters. The former lead singer of Black Sabbath earned wild cheers from the crowd during the 88th annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association.

The rocker nearly upstaged President George W. Bush when he stood on his chair to wave to the adoring fans. But the president showed off his sense of humor by quipping, "Ozzy... might have been a mistake."

According to The Drudge Report, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife Lynne was heard to complain: "He's hardly someone we should be applauding... not a role model. I am rather embarrassed." 

'Tomorrow' Is Another Day for X-Men 
By Chris Gardner and Zorianna Kit 

Hollywood May 06, 2002 (Hollywood Reporter) - 20th Century Fox's "X-Men 2" has a new in-house tentpole pal. On Friday afternoon, Fox topped Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures in an aggressive bidding war to acquire the big-budget, tentpole actioner "The Day After Tomorrow."

The Jeffrey Nachmanoff-scripted project, to be directed by Roland Emmerich and produced by Mark Gordon, is being pushed to start in the fall for a summer 2003 rollout. Budgeted at north of $100 million, "Tomorrow" is described as a high-concept film about the disastrous effects of global warming. 

[According to Sci Fi Wire, Marvel announced release dates for several other projects. Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck is scheduled for a January 2003 release. The Hulk is promised a June 2003 release. Marvel's Punisher is aimed at a August 2003 release. Ed.]

Sci Fi Teams with Clive Barker for Movie

LOS ANGELES May 7, 2002 (Zap2it.com) - The Sci Fi Channel has begun shooting a two-hour movie based on a story by horror master Clive Barker.

"Saint Sinner" is scheduled to air in October. It's the first collaboration between Barker and the cable channel.

"The SCI FI Channel is a perfect home for me and my wild imaginings," Barker says. "'Saint Sinner' is shaping up to be a benchmark production, a chance for me and Sci Fi to create an epic story that will be scary, horrific and, I hope, erotic." 

The movie stars Greg Serano ("Legally Blonde" ) as a 19th-century monk whose California order is charged with guarding evil and supernatural artifacts collected by the church. He accidentally releases two demons from their imprisonment in within one such artifact, and they promptly make their way through time to present-day Seattle.

The monk follows and eventually works with a detective (Gina Ravera, "The Fugitive" ) to hunt the demons down.

Doris Egan, a writer for "Smallville" and "Dark Angel," is adapting Barker's story. Joshua Butler ("G vs. E," "The Invisible Man" ) will direct. 

'Telepathy' Gameshow - Saw It Coming
By Steve Brennan 

Hollywood May 07, 2002 (Hollywood Reporter) - With psychics popping up all over the TV dial these days, it was inevitable -- some would say predictable -- that an enterprising producer would develop a game show revolving around psychic powers.

In fact, "Telepathy," a game in which contestants are required to use their telepathic abilities to answer questions, is in the works from A. Smith & Co. as a pilot for Game Show Network. "Telepathy" is part of a production slate unveiled Monday by the fledgling A. Smith production company.

The show is being piloted in the wake of the success of the syndicated "psychic" talk show "Crossing Over With John Edward" and the upcoming syndicated strip "Beyond With James Van Praagh." The game involves, among other things, a participant guessing what objects, shapes or symbols their partner is looking at.

Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany Had Plan to Take New York

BERLIN May 08, 2002 (Reuters) - Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm had drawn up detailed plans in 1900 for an invasion of the United States centered on attacks on New York City and Boston, according to documents in a military archive published on Thursday. 

The weekly newspaper Die Zeit published details from documents it said it uncovered in Germany's official military archives in Freiburg. One plan foresaw a force of 100,000 soldiers transported across the Atlantic on 60 ships. 

Beginning in 1897, a German navy lieutenant named Eberhard von Mantey was assigned the task of preparing an invasion of the United States after German and American interests had collided in the Pacific. 

"Wilhelm II wanted colonies and military bases around the world," author Henning Sietz wrote in Die Zeit. "The United States was increasingly getting in the Kaiser's way." 

Von Mantey's aim was to find a way to force the United States to sign a treaty giving Germany free reign in the Pacific and Atlantic. He rejected ideas of a naval blockade or a naval battle and made plans for an invasion of the northeast instead. 

"This is the core of America and this is where the United States could be most effectively hit and most easily forced to sign a peace treaty," von Mantey wrote. He said the morale and discipline of American soldiers was low. 

The plans were reworked and revised over the next decade. Chief of staff Alfred von Schlieffen, who planned Germany's invasion of France in World War One, was skeptical about the idea of attacking the United States, 3,000 sea miles away. 

But his loyalty to the Kaiser prevented him from rejecting the war planning outright, Sietz said. At one point the German chief of staff had a plan to bombard New York City. 

"The greatest panic would break out in New York over fears of a bombardment," von Mantey wrote.

Who Betrayed Anne Frank?


Amsterdam May 7, 2002 (The Scotsman) - The enduring mystery of the Anne Frank story is, who betrayed her to the Nazis? 

In a new biography, The Hidden Life of Otto Frank Carol Ann Lee, a British author living in Amsterdam, has revealed the new suspect as Anton Ahlers, a former business associate of Otto Frank, Anne’s father. 

For more than 20 years, Willem Van Maaren, an employee at the warehouse at 263 Prinsengracht, where the family was hiding, was the main suspect. Van Maaren was investigated after the war, but nothing was proved. 

On a warm summer day in August 1944, four German and Dutch security police pulled up to the warehouse and asked Van Maaren, a thief and braggart, where the Jews were hiding. He pointed up the stairs, but the police already knew exactly where to go. Hours earlier, Karl Josef Silberbauer, the Austrian commander of the squad, had received a telephone call from the head of the Amsterdam security police who said eight Jews were in the building. 

In 1963, the Austrian Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal located Silberbauer in the Vienna police force and the Van Maaren case was reopened. However, it was again inconclusive. Van Maaren died in 1971. 

Commenting on Anton Ahlers, Ms Lee said: "I looked at his files in The Hague because after the war he was convicted of betraying people and he was jailed. Everybody, including his family, condemned him as distinctly anti-Jewish and a thoroughly unpleasant character. 

Ahlers not only turned in the Frank family, but may have blackmailed Otto Frank for years after the war, receiving payment for his silence about Frank’s business with Nazi Germany at the beginning of the Second World War. German-born Frank, who moved to Holland in 1933, ran a spice-trading company that sold goods to the German army. The business continued to operate while the Franks were in hiding, although it apparently was no longer trading with the Germans. 

When Otto Frank, the only member of his family to survive the war, returned from Auschwitz in 1945, having lost his wife and two daughters, he may have feared his company would be confiscated if his pre-war business with Germany became known. 

The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation said Ahlers had not been a suspect until Ms Lee had started investigating his background for her book. "We are interested, that’s for sure," said David Barnouw, a researcher. He said Ms Lee’s case sounded credible enough for the institute, which published the authoritative version of Anne Frank’s diary and is the caretaker of the Frank papers, to reopen its investigation. "Sometimes you can go through the same material with fresh eyes." 

Ms Lee says among the four men who raided the warehouse was Maarten Kuiper, a Dutch policeman who was a friend of Ahlers and one of the major betrayers of Jews in hiding during that time." Ms Lee said Ahlers probably decided to tip off Kuiper after his own company slid into bankruptcy and he no longer needed to do business with Frank’s company. "He may have got money for it. Certainly, Maarten Kuiper received money for the betrayals he made." The Germans were paying a bounty of 40 guilders per head, which was "a large amount in those days". 

Anne and her family hid for 25 months in a canal-side warehouse in central Amsterdam, where the teenager wrote her thoughts, yearnings and descriptions of life in the cramped annexe. First published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl and later as a stage play and film, Anne Frank’s story made her a symbol both of the Holocaust and of Dutch bravery. Anne died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen in the spring of 1945, just weeks before it was liberated. More than 100,000 Dutch Jews were deported to concentration camps in Germany. Most were gassed. 

After Ms Lee’s book was published in March, Ahlers’ son was quoted as saying he was convinced her theory was true. "There’s no doubt he did it," Anton Ahlers, Jr, told the Volkskrant newspaper because the flow of funds stopped when Otto Frank died in 1980. 

Mr Barnouw was distrustful of the Ahlers family, saying they simply may be seeking notoriety. Nevertheless, Ms Lee’s book "is interesting because it takes a more balanced view of Otto Frank," Mr Barnouw said. "After the play and the book, Otto Frank was kind of like a saint. In this book, he’s much more flesh and blood."

500,000 Celtic Sheep Found!

By Maev Kennedy
Arts and Heritage Correspondent

East Chisenbury, UK May 6, 2002 (The Guardian) - Other archaeologists find gold or silver, Roman temples or Viking longships. David McOmish found a pile of sheep bones, the size of a hill. 

A week later a file of Chieftain tanks would have lumbered through the hill, and would have destroyed an extraordinary piece of history, one of the most startling of thousands of sites newly identified in the first comprehensive survey by English Heritage of the military training lands on Salisbury plain. 

Mr McOmish is an archaeologist at the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, now part of English Heritage, and one of the three authors of the survey. He believes that at East Chisenbury they have found a 2,600-year-old ritual feasting area, established on the site of an even older abandoned settlement. 

Finds included pottery bowls with traces of food, and human skulls suggesting that the Iron Age people brought their ancestors to join the feast. 

It was the hill itself, however, that was the astounding discovery. It still stands several meters high, and covers an area of 2.5 hectares. It consisted almost entirely of sheep bones. From the trial trenches they dug, he believes it contains the remains of at least 500,000 sheep.

"The vast number of animals consumed must suggest a startling level both of human population and of stock keeping," Mr McOmish said. 

"This is a site which obviously had a ritual importance to them, to which people regularly returned for special occasions. I think we have to imagine a great annual fair where deals were done and matches made." 

The survey, mapping 5,000 years of archaeology on an area the size of the Isle of Wight, will be slightly overdue in its publication this week. It was in 1901, 10 years after the army began buying up thousands of acres, that an inventory was first suggested "of the tumuli and other objects of antiquarian interest on Salisbury Plain". 

In the 1970s, Wiltshire county archaeologist Roy Canham recalled, the training lands were regarded as a no-go area for archaeologists. Occasional horror stories filtered out such as the Bronze Age barrow marked with a red warning flag, which was mistaken by the troops for the target - the mound was destroyed. 

"There has been a complete change of heart since then on the part of the military establishment," he said. "It's fair to say that I now have far more anxieties about the survival of archaeology outside the training area." 

Knook hillfort, where the survey has shown that the wriggly ditches built 2,500 years ago follow the bound aries of even more ancient Celtic fields, has now been fenced off. Trees keep tanks away, and a new road, completed 18 months ago, was expensively re-routed to keep it well away.

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