Reuters blog archive
from Photographers' Blog:
Orkney, United Kingdom
By Nigel Roddis
Flying over the lush, green islands of Orkney in Scotland, it is hard to imagine the area as an important naval base during the two World Wars. But a wide expanse of water south of Orkney mainland used to be just that.
The area, known as Scapa Flow, has seen its fair share of bloodshed. It was also the scene of the “Grand Scuttle,” when more than 50 German warships were sunk at the orders of their own Rear Admiral.
This strange event came about after Germany, defeated in World War One, had 74 ships interned at Scapa Flow.
On June 21, 1919, Rear Admiral Ludwig Von Reuter mistakenly thought that the Armistice had broken down. To prevent the British seizing his warships, he ordered them to be sunk, or “scuttled”.
from The Great Debate:
As the world marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day this week with films, TV and radio broadcasts and dozens of new books specially published for the occasion, you might think that by now we know everything there is to know about World War Two. Check out any library or bookstore, and the amount of shelf-space dedicated to the 12 years of Hitler’s Third Reich often exceeds that of any other period in history, by far.
Yet even today, one facet of this period continues to be shrouded in obscurity, and still yields new secrets. It is the role, and complicity, of companies in the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
from Global Investing:
Recent wild swings in Japan's financial markets -- stocks, bonds and the yen -- make Japan look almost like an emerging country.
Back in the 19th century, Japan was an emerging country, with its feudal society based largely on farming.
Pope Benedict on Sunday expressed "shame and horror" over the wartime suffering caused by his German homeland and said he was moved to mark the 70th anniversary of a key air victory with Britons. (Photo: London during the Blitz/U.S. National Archives)
On the last day of a four-day visit to Britain that drew the biggest protest march of any of his foreign trips, the pope also beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the most prominent English converts from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism.
A group of Catholic theologians and historians has written to Pope Benedict XVI urging him slow down the beatification process for the late Pope Pius XII, the next step on the way to making him a saint. Critics accuse Pius of not doing enough to prevent the Holocaust and the theologians and historians say they need to finish research into the Vatican's wartime archives before the pope goes ahead with this case.
from Global News Journal:The German chancellor was described by Forbes last month as the world's most powerful woman, listing her as 15th overall in its ranking of the World’s Most Powerful people. Certainly, Merkel has been known to bare her teeth when it comes to castigating others like Zimbabwe’s leader Robert Mugabe and she even rebuked Russia’s Vladimir Putin on foreign trips. She did also raise her voice against Pope Benedict, calling on him to make clear the Vatican does not tolerate any denial of the Holocaust.
But at home in Germany, Merkel has been surprisingly timid on many key issues – especially when they involve her conservative Christian Democrats. Her tendency to avoid clear positions has driven her coalition partners mad. Merkel might be a lion when she's on foreign stages but she tends to be a lamb at home. One of her favourite sayings is: "If you try to beat your head into a wall, the wall will usually win."
from Global News Journal:
That twist on the old peace slogan – “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” – came to mind after the World Orchestra for Peace -– an occasional ensemble of some of the world’s best classical musicians –- played a concert in Krakow on September 1 to mark the Nazi invasion of Poland 70 years ago that started World War Two.
With Russian conductor Valery Gergiev on the podium, the orchestra played a “Prelude for Peace” by composer and Krakow native Krzysztof Penderecki, and a rousing account of Gustav Mahler’s gargantuan Fifth Symphony – but for whom?
from The Great Debate UK:
Europe's voters trust conservatives more than the left to handle the most severe financial and economic crisis since World War Two.
That was the key message of European Parliament elections that produced strong results for incumbent conservatives in Germany, France, Italy and Poland, but heavy defeats for governing socialists in Britain, Spain and Hungary.
from The Great Debate UK:
- Nick Hewitt is a historian in the Department of Research and Information at the Imperial War Museum in London. He studied history at Lancaster University and War Studies at King's College, University of London, where he specialised in naval history. He joined the Imperial War Museum in 1995. The opinions expresed are his own.-
"D-Day at last! Invasion! Hurrah! God save the King!" wrote a Cheshire schoolgirl on the evening of 6 June 1944. For her, news of the successful D-Day landings clearly meant a great deal. But looking back after sixty-five years, what was the historical significance of D-Day?
from The Great Debate UK:
Unlike the 1930s, there are no hunger marches or tent cities of the homeless and jobless in Europe's biggest economic slump since the Great Depression.
Welfare states built after World War Two, and labour market regulation in many West European countries, have cushioned workers and their families so far from the full force of the collapse of banks, the credit squeeze and a deep recession.