“In Libya, you can criticise Allah but not Gaddafi”

first_img RSF_en Help by sharing this information News Organisation June 24, 2020 Find out more LibyaMiddle East – North Africa February 23, 2021 Find out more Reports For the first time since its creation 20 years ago, Reporters Without Borders was able to visit Libya from 13 to 17 September. Even if the country, including its media, appears to be opening up, the delegation found that it continues to have one the world’s most illiberal regimes as regards press freedom. October 4, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 “In Libya, you can criticise Allah but not Gaddafi” Six imprisoned journalists to finally appear in court in Istanbul Reporters Without Borders today published the full report of the fact-finding visit it made to Libya from 13 to 17 September.It was first time the press freedom organisation has been able to go to Libya in 20 years. This in itself is one of the signs of the changes taking place under the “Brother Leader,” Muammar Gaddafi. But despite the “relaxation,” the diplomatic U-turn and the economic opening-up since the lifting of the UN embargo, this is still one of the world’s most repressive regimes as regards civil liberties. The Revolutionary Committees Movement – the regime’s central pillar – maintains its monopoly of power, and the press continues to be just a propaganda tool.Aside from satellite TV stations and the Internet, the regime still controls the media and there are no independent press outlets. Col. Gaddafi’s “rebellious” son, Seif al-Islam, and the foundation he heads have launched “younger,” and more “modern” media but they still toe the line and it is still as dangerous as ever to criticize Gaddafi and his family or to tackle issues that are off-limits such as the Berbers or high-level corruption.“In Libya, you can criticise Allah but not Gaddafi,” said one journalist speaking on condition of anonymity. The latest evidence of this was the imprisonment of cyber-dissident Abdel Razak Al Mansuri for 18 months and the murder of journalist Daif Al Ghazal in the spring of 2005. What they had in common was to have dared to criticise the man who has ruled this country for 37 years.But times are changing. Thanks to Al-Jazeera and public Internet access points, Libyans are no longer as isolated from the rest of the world as they were in the past. They have less and less tolerance for the political cant of the official media. Many journalists are very critical when they are assured of anonymity. But fear is palpable, even among foreign press correspondents. While they can travel around with a guide or interpreter, obtaining a visa is still often an ordeal and other kinds of pressure remain.The Union of Libyan Journalists, to which Reporters Without Borders owes its invitation, talks of “change” as something to be taken for granted, but so far its existence is purely rhetorical. The media may at last be talking about the problems of daily life and low-level corruption but they are still under the control of what is – no matter what people say – a one-party state.It is encouraging that anti-establishment views can be heard, even from some media executives. Iconoclastic comments by Gaddafi’s son – very critical of the press and calling for the privatisation of news media – are evidence of a degree of awareness at the highest level that Libya is evolving and that the regime should accompany these changes, even if it is only to better control them.The international community, especially the European Union, must support all those in Libya and abroad who are pushing for more freedom, including press freedom. It is vital that the international community should demand to know the truth about Daif Al Ghazal’s murder. How this case is handled will show to how far the regime is really prepared to put an end to what was its darkest side.Beyond the high-sounding and often sincere declarations, in the view of Reporters Without Borders only the appearance of privately-owned and really independent news media will allow us to talk of real change in Libya. This is not yet the case.The full report is available on the Reporters Without Borders website (www.rsf.org).center_img News Related documents Download the report in english (136,5 Ko)PDF – 132.31 KBDownload the report in arabic (184 Ko)PDF – 183.03 KB Receive email alerts On Libyan revolution’s 10th anniversary, authorities urged to guarantee press freedom Follow the news on Libya LibyaMiddle East – North Africa to go further News Well-known Libyan journalist missing since his arrest December 17, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

Many opposition and news sites brought down by cyber-attacks in election run-up

first_img January 29, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Malaysia to go further News RSF_en Organisation Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information MalaysiaAsia – Pacific February 22, 2021 Find out more Malaysian cartoonist Zunar facing possible sedition charge againcenter_img MalaysiaAsia – Pacific News March 17, 2021 Find out more Record fine for Malaysian news site over readers’ comments News Many opposition and news websites have fallen victim to distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) in the run-up to tomorrow’s election in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sarawak (on the island of Borneo), which is posing a challenge to Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s 30-year-old rule of the state.“It is sad to see that election campaigns and freedom of information do not go together in Malaysia,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We condemn the use of cyber-attacks to control content on the Internet, which continues to offer an exceptional space for expression in a country in which the tradition press is gagged by the government.”The press freedom organisation added: “Such practices to do not bode well for the general elections due to be held by the end of 2011, in which bloggers and online journalists will have a crucial role to play in informing the public.”The sites that are currently inaccessible include Sarawak Report, Radio Free Sarawak, Dayak Baru Blog and Malaysiakini, whose Twitter account has been suspended. Alternative links have been created to access Malaysiakini – malaysiakinicom.wordpress.com and www.facebook.com/malaysiakini.Sarawak Report has been investigating the sources of Taib Mahmud’s wealth. Malaysiakini, which acquired an international reputation by its coverage of Malaysia’s previous prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has carried many stories about the preparations for these elections, which are seen as a test for Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional party, and has accused Taib Mahmud of vote-buying.Some bloggers such as Wong Chin Huat (chinhuatw.wordpress.com), Sivarasa (sivarasa.blogspot.com) and Haris Ibrahim (harismibrahim.wordpress.com) have been denied entry to Sarawak.Malaysia is ranked 141st out of 178 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index and is classified as a country “under surveillance” in the Reporters Without Borders report on Enemies of the Internet, above all because of its harassment of bloggers. News April 15, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Many opposition and news sites brought down by cyber-attacks in election run-up New Malaysian ordinance threatens very concept of truthlast_img read more

Police helicopter makes emergency landing in Derry

first_img Twitter Google+ Police helicopter makes emergency landing in Derry WhatsApp Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Google+ Facebook WhatsApp By News Highland – November 13, 2020 Homepage BannerNews Pinterestcenter_img Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Facebook Pinterest Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR A police helicopter had to make an emergency landing in Derry last night.It experienced engine failure as while supporting officers dealing with a security alert in Limavady.That was later declared a hoax.The PSNI says the pilot and crew landed safely at the City of Derry airport and there were no injuries.The issue’s been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. Twitter Previous articleLough Mourne water supply not affected by pollution incidentNext articleNews, Sport, Nuacht and Obituaries on Friday November 13th News Highland last_img read more

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged recruiter, pleads not guilty

first_imgSpencer Platt/Getty ImagesBY: JAMES HILL AND AARON KATERSKY, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and longtime companion of the infamous sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges in a video appearance before a federal judge in New York on Tuesday.U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan set a trial date for July 12, 2021. The hearing is still ongoing.Maxwell, 58, is the Oxford-educated daughter of Robert Maxwell, the larger than life publishing baron whose rags-to-riches story captivated England. She lived an extravagant life among the British elite until her father’s business empire collapsed in the wake of his death. She fled to New York looking for a fresh start and was soon seen in the company of the mysterious multimillionaire Epstein.In a letter to a Florida state prosecutor related to Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea, Epstein’s attorneys describe his relationship with Maxwell as one of two “long-term intimate relationships” Epstein had in adulthood. Maxwell has asserted in court filings that she entered Epstein’s employ in 1999, where she remained, despite the eventual end of their romantic relationship, until at least 2006.Maxwell is now facing a reckoning for her alleged role in facilitating Epstein’s sexual abuse of young women. She was arrested by federal authorities in New Hampshire earlier this month and is facing a six-count federal indictment alleging that she conspired with Epstein in a multi-state sex trafficking scheme involving three unnamed minor victims between 1994 and 1997. Prosecutors contend Maxwell not only “befriended” and later “enticed and groomed multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein, through a variety of means and methods,” but was also, at times, “present for and involved” in the abuse herself.Maxwell has repeatedly denied those allegations, both in court filings and in a sworn deposition, claiming through her attorneys to have “had no involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged misconduct.” But several of Epstein’s alleged victims tell an entirely different story, one that often places Maxwell in a role that was central to their abuse. Maxwell has been named as a defendant in five lawsuits from alleged Epstein victims, and in at least three others, alleged victims identify her as one of Epstein’s primary “recruiters.”According to Brad Edwards, an attorney who represents several of Epstein’s alleged victims, Maxwell’s role in Epstein’s story is clear.“Ghislaine Maxwell created Jeffrey Epstein,” Edwards told ABC News. “She helped to create the monster that we later understood him to be.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Some limitations on plant growth and development in tundra regions – an investigation using phytometers

first_imgThe use of oats as phytometers for seasonal studies of microclimatic favourability and nutrient limitations is reported. The effect of age and development on growth parameters in long‐term experiments is illustrated by comparison with data from related short‐term experiments. Regression analyses were carried out on seasonal growth data to discover patterns of growth and development. Intersite differences were more clearly demonstrated by plants grown in nutrient‐rich media than by those grown in soil and were most marked under poor weather conditions. Highly significant differences in growth existed between seasons for the nutrient‐treated vermiculite experiments and between treatments for the soil and vermiculite experiments. The use of regression analyses to explain dry matter accumulation is discussed, and the usefulness of phytometers in growth assessment is considered.last_img read more

Observations of iodine monoxide columns from satellite

first_imgIodine species in the troposphere are linked to ozone depletion and new particle formation. In this study, a full year of iodine monoxide (IO) columns retrieved from measurements of the SCIAMACHY satellite instrument is presented, coupled with a discussion of their uncertainties and the detection limits. The largest amounts of IO are found near springtime in the Antarctic. A seasonal variation of iodine monoxide in Antarctica is revealed with high values in springtime, slightly less IO in the summer period and again larger amounts in autumn. In winter, no elevated IO levels are found in the areas accessible to satellite measurements. This seasonal cycle is in good agreement with recent ground-based measurements in Antarctica. In the Arctic region, no elevated IO levels were found in the period analysed. This implies that different conditions with respect to iodine release exist in the two Polar Regions. To investigate possible release mechanisms, comparisons of IO columns with those of tropospheric BrO, and ice coverage are described and discussed. Some parallels and interesting differences between IO and BrO temporal and spatial distributions are identified. Overall, the large spatial coverage of satellite retrieved IO data and the availability of a long-term dataset provide new insight about the abundances and distributions of iodine compounds in the troposphere.last_img read more

Indian Navy Shows Off Its Capabilities amid Navy Day

first_img Indian Navy Shows Off Its Capabilities amid Navy Day The Indian Navy held a demonstration of its operational capabilities in Kochi waters with thousands of residents watching from its shores on 08 Dec 13 in the presence of Shri Nikhil Kumar, Honourable Governor of Kerala.Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command presided over the function conducted as part of the Navy Day celebrations.The demonstration commenced with marine commandos delivering the programme schedule to the Honourable Governor. Thereafter, fly past by all aircraft of INS Garuda and the giant TU- 142 aircraft from Chennai was the harbinger of events to unfold in the next two hours.Demonstration of landing of a sea king helicopter on a moving warship, firing of weapons, special operations by the marine commandos from air and water, simulation of VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) operations, aerobatics by the Advanced Light Helicopters, were some of the operations on review.The warship component was led by INS Teg, the stealth frigate -one of the newer platforms in the Naval inventory, and warships Sharda, Sujata, Sarvekshak, Kabra and Sagardhwani. Newly inducted Fast Interceptor Craft were also fielded to demonstrate its capabilities in coastal security and force protection.The continuity drill performed by the sailors of INS Dronachrya stood out for its stunning and precise discipline and skills in weapon handling. The demonstration concluded with the ceremonial beating retreat performed by the Naval Band and the lowering of the National Flag and Naval Ensign at sunset. Five warships then sailed past the gathering with their silhouette illuminated.[mappress]Press Release, December 10, 2013; Image: Indian Navy Share this article December 10, 2013center_img Back to overview,Home naval-today Indian Navy Shows Off Its Capabilities amid Navy Day Authoritieslast_img read more

AG Zoeller Presents Voices For Victims Awards To Southern Indiana Advocates

first_img INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller presented Southern Indiana victim service providers with 2016 Voices for Victims awards today to recognize their outstanding dedication to serving and giving a voice to victims in Indiana.The Voices for Victims awards program is part of the Attorney General’s Victims Services and Outreach Division, which Zoeller established in May of 2015 to focus support on victims of violent crimes, including human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. He said the awards were inspired during recent visits to victim service providers across the state that showcased the brave and selfless work being done by individuals to help those traumatized by violent crime.The Southern Indiana award recipients include:Yvonne Moore, Collaborative Care Supervisor, Department of Child Services, IPATH Member. Dedicated to serving child victims for decades, Yvonne in recent years has also been a leader in the statewide taskforce to combat human trafficking. Additionally, she organized a conference of over 250 service providers and community leaders at IU Southeast. Yvonne is passionate about her work and spends her free time serving victims and survivors of human trafficking, especially children.Angela Renfro, Founder of Kristy Love Foundation. As a survivor of child sexual abuse beginning at the age of 3, Angela was trafficked throughout her youth and young adult years. Despite tremendous trauma, Angela went on to establish the Kristy Love Foundation, which serves victims of human trafficking by providing trauma counseling services, job skills training and other support in a residential shelter. Her shelter serves victims in Southern Indiana. Earlier this year, Angela was the keynote speaker at the IPATH taskforce conference held at IU Southeast.Amy Leenerts, Founder of Free2Hope, Inc. As a survivor leader of human trafficking victims, Amy established the organization “Free2Hope, Inc.,” which provides outreach and training in Southern Indiana. Suffering extreme abuse for years, Amy was able to find the strength to survive and inspire others. As a board member of the Kristy Love Foundation, Amy presents at many conferences and trainings across the State of Indiana.“These extraordinary leaders embody the compassionate, selfless and often unnoticed work being done to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” Zoeller said. “The road to recovery for these individuals is long and difficult. The awards recognize the heroes among us helping victims to navigate the legal system, process trauma and rebuild their lives.”Zoeller said the award recipients exemplify the mission of his office’s Victim Services and Outreach Division, which is to ensure victims have access to assistance and are treated with dignity and respect in the court system and beyond.Recipients include victim advocates, directors and staff at victims’ shelters, survivors and others who have shown selfless devotion to the causes of victims, either on behalf of individuals, or in policy roles, legal representation or in other ways. Service providers are especially recognized for their dedication to underserved and vulnerable populations, including children, women, immigrants and ethnic groups.Award recipients receive an honorary plaque and will be recognized in the Attorney General’s monthly newsletter sent to the approximately 500-member Victim Advocates’ Network created by the Victim Services and Outreach Division to connect and provide resources to those who serve victims in Indiana. Advocates who are interested in joining the Victim Advocates’ Network can contact the Attorney General’s Office by emailing [email protected] Office of the Indiana Attorney General also offers programs to assist victims directly. Domestic violence victims can obtain the assistance of the Hope Card program which summarizes court protective order details on a laminated card for a victim to provide quickly to law enforcement. Victims also can participate in the Address Confidentiality program that provides a secure mailing location where victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking can receive their mail to ensure their perpetrators do not discover a new street address.More information about these resources can be found here.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Finding ovarian cancer’s vulnerabilities

first_imgCancer is not invincible but its weaknesses can be difficult to detect. An effort known as Project Achilles — named after the Greek warrior whose one vulnerability led to his undoing — was launched to develop a systematic way of pinpointing these weak spots.In their largest and most comprehensive effort to date, researchers from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Harvard affiliate, examined cells from more than 100 tumors, including 25 ovarian cancer tumors, to unearth the genes upon which cancers depend. One of these genes, PAX8, is altered in a significant fraction of ovarian tumors — nearly one-fifth of those surveyed in the study. The researchers results appear online July 11 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“In this project, we’re looking for all of the Achilles’ heels of cancer. That is to say, we’re looking for any instance where you inactivate a gene and affect the survival of cancer cells,” said William Hahn, a senior associate member of the Broad and an associate professor at Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School. The researchers silenced or suppressed thousands of genes using short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs), which offer a way to predict the effect of a drug or therapy that targets individual genes.Recently, researchers involved in another major cancer project, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), reported that 1,800 genes in the ovarian cancer genome are repeatedly amplified, or present in extra copies. The Project Achilles team silenced more than 10,000 genes in its search for those that are needed for cancer cells to grow and survive. By harnessing the TCGA data, the researchers could rapidly pinpoint which of these 1,800 genes are essential to ovarian tumor growth.Hahn describes the convergence of these two projects at the Broad Institute as representing a fundamental change in cancer research. “Not only can we characterize what genes are mutated or altered, but we can also simultaneously assess which of those are important functionally,” he said.The team used a pool of more than 54,000 shRNAs from the library developed by the Broad’s RNAi Platform. “The methods that we have developed in the RNAi Platform make it practical and relatively inexpensive to screen shRNAs at a genomic scale, and our first area of application was in cancer research,” said David Root, director of the RNAi Platform. “The scale-up to the 100 cell lines reported in this most recent paper was a big challenge, but we also saw a huge opportunity. With data on many more cell lines, we would have far, far greater power to identify functionally important cancer targets.”The latest Project Achilles research also addresses a fundamental question in cancer biology. For decades, cancer has been classified based on tissue of origin, but within the past 10 years, many scientists have suggested that it may be more revealing to classify tumors based on genetic mutations, regardless of where the cancer began.“Many of us in the genomics field — including myself — were thinking that maybe someday, we won’t care about the organs that cancers come from, that we will only care about the genetic mutations that drive them,” said Hahn. “What’s emerging from TCGA and our Project Achilles work is that lineage will continue to be important.”Hahn suspects that in some cases, this may have to do with the way that different organ systems develop. One of the top genes that the Project Achilles team detected in ovarian cancer cells is PAX8, which plays an important role in the development of the female reproductive system. The team found too many copies of PAX8 in 16 percent of the ovarian cancers they examined. In cell lines where PAX8 was overexpressed, suppressing PAX8 led to cell death.In addition to their findings in ovarian cancer, the researchers found that looking across cancer types can reveal cancer-causing genes, but only if a large number of samples is considered.“A traditional way of doing these experiments was to compare one cell line versus another cell line,” said Hahn. “When you test that, it turns out that’s not a very robust way of doing things. What we show in this paper is that if you have eight or nine cell lines that you’re comparing against each other, then your confidence in the candidates that emerge increases.”In the coming months, Hahn and his team plan to pursue the PAX8 result. Although the gene encodes a transcription factor, a class of master control proteins that have been pessimistically labeled “undruggable,” the researchers will team up with the Broad’s Chemical Biology Platform to look through hundreds of thousands of unique compounds to find one that can neutralize PAX8. “PAX8 is a transcription factor and it’s considered a difficult or impossible target to make drugs against, but that’s exactly the kind of project that the Broad likes to take on,” said Hahn.Meanwhile, the Hahn lab, RNAi Platform, and other Broad investigators are further pursuing the Project Achilles strategy, screening many more cell lines and devising new analysis methods to nominate promising target genes in many different types of cancer.last_img read more

Star-spangled beauty

first_imgDuring the War of 1812, on the rainy morning of Sept. 13, 1814, British troops launched a land and sea attack on Fort McHenry, a star-shaped U.S. stronghold built to guard Baltimore from naval assault. Despite the relentless cannonade, the fort’s commander, George Armistead, refused to surrender.“The British bombardment went on until the morning of September 14, when their guns fell silent” writes author A.J. Langguth in his book “Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence.” “The siege had lasted twenty-five hours. Armistead estimated that that as many as 1,800 shells had been fired at his fort. A fraction of them had fallen short. More had burst in midair, showering the Americans with shrapnel.”One American had a front-row seat for that battle, which played out 200 years ago this week.Guarded by British troops, lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key watched from a sloop, the Minden, as bombs rained on Fort McHenry in that memorable battle from the largely forgotten war. But what hasn’t been forgotten is Key’s resultant, iconic poem. Inspired by the American troops who repelled the attack, Key hastily penned four verses on the back of a letter to commemorate the fight and the giant American garrison flag that still flew as dawn broke over the fort on Sept. 14.The poem “The Defence of Fort McHenry” would become the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In advance of its 200th birthday, several Harvard scholars reflected on the song’s legacy, its language, and its lyricism.Key eventually set his ode to music, ironically using the tune from a popular English song.Mounted into a scrapbook in Houghton Library of Southern Ballad songs is a copy of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” under a different title, “The Flag of Secession.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“It was a British tune. It’s an inherited tune. It wasn’t one written in the U.S., which is really interesting,” said Carol Oja, the chair of Harvard’s music department. “So our national anthem has words by an American and has this tune that is trans-Atlantic, almost a kind of postcolonial tune.”That tune is now part of the nation’s collective soul. But, as many a musician will tell you, it isn’t easy to sing. Anyone who has attended a baseball game, watched the Super Bowl, been to a Fourth of July celebration, or any number of patriotic or sporting events has likely hummed or sung along to what is an enduring symbol of national pride. They’ve also probably dropped out when the going gets tough. The lines “rockets’ red glare,” “bombs bursting in air,” and “land of the free” include the anthem’s highest and hardest notes, and have humbled some of the most accomplished singers.“The range is so large, an octave and a half,” said Harvard’s Gund University Organist and Choirmaster Edward Jones, who has arranged “The Star-Spangled Banner” for various choirs to perform. The song can sound strange when soloists sing it because they are “too low at the start,” hoping to bring those high notes home, said Jones, or they finish singing “too high at the end.”Oja, Harvard’s William Powell Mason Professor of Music, agreed the song is challenging. “It’s a melody that’s got some disjunctions and just got some twists and turns in it that don’t sort of naturally fall in the voice,” she said. “There’s a lot in it musically for someone who’s singing it as a solo that leaves them exposed.” <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kC59qNwt3A” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/-kC59qNwt3A/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Perhaps that’s why Oja’s favorite version of the song doesn’t involve vocals at all but is by the young Jimi Hendrix, with his “brilliant, basically deconstruction of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”Oja was referring to the guitarist’s interpretation of the anthem, considered both subversive and sublime, that he played during the musical festival in Woodstock, N.Y., in 1969. “To have chosen that emblem of patriotism, to have stood up there with an electric instrument, to have just shredded it, on the one hand, but also to have given it a whole new beauty,” she said, “his performance is really something.”According to one Harvard historian, during much of the 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries, another song had a greater hold on the nation’s patriotic soul.“The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written by the activist Julia Ward Howe and set to the tune from “John Brown’s Body,” was far more popular than the “Star Spangled Banner” and was a strong contender for the nation’s official song, said John Stauffer, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On.”Both songs are martial hymns “that speak to American civil religion … that have long encouraged Americans to act on their understanding of the United States, acting out what they, Americans, perceive to be God’s will for their country,” said Stauffer, professor of English and African and African American studies. In the end, “The Battle Hymn” was rejected as the country’s official tune in large part because “some Southern Congressmen couldn’t accept as the official national anthem a song written by a staunch abolitionist.”This souvenir item was “likely part of a series of important American historic documents that were issued for collectors,” said Leslie Morris, curator of modern books and manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerBut Stauffer, who referred to “The Battle Hymn” as the nation’s unofficial anthem and praised it for its “immensely lyrical and extraordinary lyrics,” is relieved it has flown below the radar. The obligatory singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at any number of events, he argued, has robbed it of much of its and power and meaning.“It does signify national pride,” said Stauffer, “but it’s an obligatory national pride … and that obligatory nature, I think, takes away from the power and the beauty of the song.”Asked to reflect on the song’s poetry, Elisa New, Harvard’s Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature, said she was struck by “how visual it is: ‘Oh, say can you SEE,’ showing us the natural light, then the technological light, then the vivid spectacle of iconic visual symbols, dawn, twilight, rocket, flag.“The poem is teaching us to look at visual symbols of the nation’s power and emergent glory — natural and man-made — and to feel confidence that that man-made is [also] natural. The flag is ‘star-spangled,’ these stylized stars connected to the stars in the sky and the fireworks of the weaponry. This is a war heaven approves, says Key.”last_img read more