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Belgium: Sorry for What We Did to Mixed-Race Babies

Prime Minister Charles Michel issues an apology

(Newser) - The Belgian government has apologized for the country's role in kidnapping thousands of mixed-race babies from their African mothers during colonial times, the AP reports. Thousands of children in what are now the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi were taken away and raised in Belgium in Catholic-run... More »

UK Must Give Up Its 'Last Colony in Africa': UN Court

It wants UK to end control of the Chagos Islands 'as rapidly as possible'

(Newser) - Britain must end its control of the Chagos islands "as rapidly as possible," according to the UN's highest court. The International Court of Justice said Monday that Britain had unlawfully carved up Mauritius, which the Chagos were a part of, when it agreed to end colonial rule... More »

Nobel-Winning Author Who Tackled Colonialism Dead at 85

VS Naipaul divided readers with his stories of Caribbean and African peoples

(Newser) - The family of Trinidad-born British author VS Naipaul says the Nobel Literature laureate has died at the age of 85, the AP reports. The family said in a statement late Saturday that the novelist had died at his London home. The writer's wife, Nadira Naipaul, said he "died... More »

Barcelona Officials Want to Rip Down Columbus Statue

Barcelona council members say it glorifies colonialism, explorer's 'conquest of America'

(Newser) - Just a couple of years after the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor, a statue of Christopher Columbus was erected to grace Barcelona's skyline—and while the former represents freedom and friendship, local council members say the latter should be torn down for symbolizing the worst... More »

Native American Fans Hurt Over Portrayal in New Harry Potter Story

'I'm broken hearted…my beliefs are not fantasy'

(Newser) - Native American Harry Potter fans are feeling hurt, betrayed, and angry over JK Rowling's newest entry to her magical universe. History of Magic in North America: Fourteenth Century-Seventeenth Century was published online this week and focuses on Native American wizards, the Guardian reports. According to Mashable , the short story... More »

400-Year-Old Church Emerges in Reservoir

The Temple of Santiago gets a breath of air

(Newser) - Huh, this wasn't there last year—a 16th-century church emerging from the waters of a Mexican reservoir. But it actually makes sense, because drought has caused the water level to fall 82 feet in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, revealing a church that was flooded during construction of a dam nearly... More »

Zimbabwe Tells Britain: Give Us Our Skulls Back

Robert Mugabe says Brits are keeping human skulls as war trophies

(Newser) - Zimbabwe's president is demanding the return of "decapitated heads" of warriors killed during "the first chimurenga," an uprising against British colonizers at the end of the 19th century, reports the Telegraph . The skulls serve as "war trophies," and keeping them "must rank among... More »

Look Out, World: Brits Have Invaded 90% of Nations

Only 22 countries have been exempt: book

(Newser) - If you're part of planet Earth, there's a really great chance that British forces have invaded your homeland at one time or another: Some nine out of 10 countries have suffered such a fate throughout history, a new book finds. Indeed, just 22 countries haven't seen a... More »

How Colonialism Helped Start the HIV Epidemic

Researchers pinpoint historical ground zero for the virus

(Newser) - The origins of HIV are something of a historical puzzle, but recent discoveries make that puzzle a lot easier to solve—and it looks a lot like European colonialism is a big piece of it. That's the thesis of a new book by Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin called... More »

Time for US to Let the World Grow Up

Ian Buruma criticizes hawks for over-relying on military, hurting US interests

(Newser) - Sure, the United States has the world's most powerful military. But President Obama's reluctance to use it is hardly a sign of pessimism or weakness, it's "realistic wisdom," writes Ian Buruma at al-Jazeera . "Old-fashioned military dominance is no longer adequate to promote US interests.... More »

Obama's Dad Was No 'Radical'

'Anti-colonialist' accusations misunderstand father and son

(Newser) - Those who suggest Barack Obama is a “rabid anti-colonialist” based on impressions of his father are way off the mark about both father and son, writes Bruce L.R. Smith in the Washington Post . Dinesh D’Souza recently argued that “the president inherited political radicalism from his father.... More »

Hugo Chavez: US 'Tectonic Weapon' Caused Haiti Quake

... so America could then occupy the island

(Newser) - Indulging its neo-colonial ambitions, the US used a “tectonic weapon” to set off the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti—which American troops have since occupied. That’s the contention of noted fly-in-America’s-ointment Hugo Chavez. After urging the US to “stop playing God,” but not revealing... More »

New York, Age 400, Looks Back to Holland

Exhibition features letter signaling founding of Manhattan

(Newser) - Today is an unhappy date in New York, but tomorrow is a much more joyous anniversary—on Sept. 12, 1609, Henry Hudson sailed up the river that now bears his name, leading to the founding of New Amsterdam. The Dutch royal family will visit for the anniversary, and two historical... More »

Founding Fathers That Time Forgot

And 4 others history has forgotten

(Newser) - Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence, but we only remember a few of the Founding Fathers. Mental Floss shines a light on a few of the lesser-knowns:
  • George Read: the only statesman to oppose the Declaration of Independence. Admitted to the Philadelphia Bar at age 19, Read thought Americans
... More »

Parthenon Gets the Museum It Deserves

(Newser) - The Parthenon has been called the one “absolutely right” building on the planet, and it now has a fitting memorial, Christopher Hitchens writes in Vanity Fair. Hitchens is among the first to visit the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, and it does not disappoint. Artifacts, expert reproductions, and a... More »

Sarko Jeered at African Leader's Funeral

French president booed, taunted in Gabon

(Newser) - Crowds in the African nation of Gabon booed Nicolas Sarkozy at the funeral of the country's long-serving strongman president, Omar Bongo. Dozens of onlookers shouted "We don't want you, leave!" at the French leader and his predecessor, Jacques Chirac. France ruled Gabon in the colonial era and... More »

Amid Thaw, Gadhafi Visits Italy for 1st Time

Libyan leader will meet Berlusconi, 700 most powerful women

(Newser) - Today marks the start of Moammar Gadhafi’s first visit to Italy since he took over Libya in 1969—and the trip “promises to be as colorful as it is historic,” notes Richard Owen in the Times of London. That’s thanks in part to his 300-member entourage... More »

Hugo's Gift Keeps on Selling

Volume on colonial oppression becomes overnight best-seller

(Newser) - Hugo Chavez has done for a book on the exploitation of Latin America what Bo did for Portuguese water dogs, the BBC reports. Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent has gone from 54,295th to second on Amazon’s sales... More »

Chavez Gives Obama Book —on Colonial Oppression

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave President Obama a Spanish-language book today about the historical ravages visited on Latin America by colonial powers, Politico reports. The English title of the 1971 book by Eduardo Galeano is The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. The... More »

Tibet's Long History of Isolation

Since 1800s, governments have secluded region from world

(Newser) - Isolation has long defined Tibet and fueled the region's exotic history, Edward Wong writes in the New York Times. While China's recent clampdown is purely political—this is the 50th anniversary of an attempted uprising—natural remoteness and anti-imperialist struggles have also sealed its borders. “A large element of... More »

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