France and Germany rebound; new hope for cancer treatment.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Aug. 14 2009 5:02 AM

Europe Bids Adieu to Recession

(Continued from Page 1)

The WP takes a look at the mystery surrounding the Arctic Sea, a cargo ship registered in Malta and owned by Russians that disappeared two weeks ago with a crew of 15 Siberian sailors. The ship, carrying $1.7 million of timber, simply dropped off the map after clearing the English Channel, despite the fact that it's equipped with lots of modern tracking equipment. Some suggest the ship could have been attacked by pirates, or maybe sunk, but the facts don't quite add up, which has left many speculating that perhaps there was contraband on board or the captain could be trying to steal the cargo.

As the 40th anniversary of Woodstock approaches tomorrow, there have been plenty of retrospectives, and there are likely more to come. But the WSJ's Jim Fusilli writes that people often prefer to forget that in terms of music, the festival really wasn't so great. Promoters couldn't get some of the biggest names of the time and managers packed the schedule with unknown artists in exchange for their famous clients. The proliferation of drugs also meant that many of the musicians weren't really at the top of their game. Some forgot lyrics and were too disoriented to play. Others simply weren't very good, including Jimi Hendrix. The Who had no idea their drinks had been spiked with LSD and Roger Daltrey later said it was "the worst performance we ever did."

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The LAT reports that Elsie Poncher has put the crypt currently occupied by her husband on eBay with a starting price of $500,000. Why would anyone pay that much? It's right above Marilyn Monroe's final resting place. Apparently, Richard Poncher bought the crypt from Joe DiMaggio during his divorce from Monroe. But it won't be the first time Richard's "long sleep has been disturbed," as the LAT puts it. When he was dying, Richard had a request for Elsie: "He said, 'If I croak, if you don't put me upside down over Marilyn, I'll haunt you the rest of my life.' " After the funeral, Elsie told the funeral director about her husband's dying wish. "I was standing right there, and he turned him over."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.