Margaret Thatcher, England's first woman prime minister, has died

Margaret Thatcher, known as The Iron Lady, for her tough conservative policies implemented during her tenure as Prime Minister of England from 1979 to 1990, has died.

First elected to the House of Parliament in 1959, after years as a tax and patent law barrister, Thatcher's political career as a powerful, extremely conservative Tory leader, led to her election as Prime Minister in 1979. Determined to get Great Britain out of its economic doldrums through her focused steely will (hence the Iron Lady moniker), she used privatization (of Rolls Royce and British Telecom), deregulation, free trade, tax cuts for the rich, and attacks on the unions to push through her policies.

Her popularity was revitalized with the UK's participation in the 1982 Falkland Islands War, as described by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins in their 1983 book, The Battle for the Falklands. This 74-day conflict with Argentina was a successful naval operation.

Thatcher's friendship with President Ronald Reagan was legendary, as they worked together to transform their nations in their shared vision. One of the books she wrote, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World, 2002, was dedicated to Reagan.

In her memoir, The Downing Street Years, 1993, Thatcher wrote about her defeat (after three unprecedented terms as Prime Minister) in 1990 to the more moderate conservative beliefs of her successor, John Major.

Baroness Thatcher, who had suffered from dementia for many years, died from a stroke this morning. She was 87.

World News At Your Fingertips: Infotrac Newsstand

Looking for a copy of today's Irish Times from Dublin? Daily coverage of Armenian news direct from Yerevan? This month's issue of Namibia Economist? Yesterday's Arkansas Times from Little Rock? You can find all of this, and much more, in our research database Infotrac Newsstand. This full-text newspaper resource provides access to more than 1,100 major U.S. regional, national and local newspapers as well as leading titles from around the world. It also includes thousands of images, radio and TV broadcasts and transcripts. Worried about language barriers? Infotrac will translate your selection into English (or choose from 12 other world languages). Easy-to-use citation tools will help with your research, along with options for e-mailing, bookmarking, downloading or printing.

Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access the Infotrac Newsstand database, go to the Research page, and select Infotrac Newsstand from the Newspapers category.

5 Broken Cameras on DVD

The critically-acclaimed documentary 5 Broken Cameras is one man’s view of his village’s fight against encroaching development. Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat buys his first camera to document the birth of his fourth son. Over time he also begins filming the non-violent protests that take place in Bil’in, a West Bank village in Palestine, that begin after Israeli developers erect a separation fence and begin taking over part of the land in and near Bil’in.

The film documents the village’s five-year struggle to get the barrier taken down and development stopped. During this time,as Burnat is shot at and his cameras are destroyed during the protests, we see events unfold through one camera after another. Viewers not only witness the growth of Burnat’s youngest son, who is one day a baby and by the film end is attending the protests, but also the daily struggle of the community and Burnat’s family as they band together against military action. They are brutalized, arrested and defeated daily, but are led by such passionate leaders that they don’t give up, despite their sadness and anger. Burnat’s film is a touching, disturbing, personal account of the Bil’in residents and their part in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

5 Broken Cameras, by filmmakers Emad Burnat, a lifelong inhabitant of the Palestinian village of Bil'in, and Guy Davidi, an Israeli documentary filmmaker and teacher who was born in Jaffa, is a nominee for this year's Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Master Gardener Bonnie Ion Discusses The Flowers Of India

Wednesday November 14, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Having traveled in India, Bonnie Ion will present both images and history about the flowers of India.

Bonnie has been traveling the world since age 16 and gardening for the past 30+ years. Trained as a landscape architect, she is also a Master Gardener, and Michigan Garden Club lecturer.

Solar Eclipse Today (Only Visible in Australia)

The only total solar eclipse of 2012 will begin around 3:35pm EST today, November 13, and it will last all of two whole minutes, so try not to blink. Unfortunately, it will only be visible live from certain areas of Queensland, Australia and some empty parts of the Pacific Ocean. The good news is that you can watch the solar eclipse live online via streaming sites, including Cairns Eclipse 2012 on USTREAM, which will begin streaming around 2:00 pm.

More resources on eclipses are available here from the AADL, and don't miss one of the newest additions to our collection, the Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Dobsonian Telescope, which checks out for two weeks at a time.

Film & Discussion: Encounter Point

Thursday November 8, 2012: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Created by a Palestinian, Israeli, North American, and Brazilian production team, this award-winning documentary Encounter Point is the story of an Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their safety and public standing to press for an end to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

For two years, the Just Vision film crew followed the stories of ordinary people who feel driven to work for an end to bloodshed and occupation in favor of peace.

A post-film community discussion will follow. This event is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Community Scholars Program. This event is for Grade 9-Adult.

Veterans Day 2012: Vietnam Vets Discuss The 50th Anniversary Of The Vietnam War

Thursday November 8, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The Vietnam War was the longest war in US history and 2012 is the year of the United States National Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of America's first involvement in this conflict.

Join a team of Vietnam vets as they reflect on this war and their experiences. The moderator for this panel will be Dale Throneberry, who heads up the Veterans Radio Network and completed his tour in Vietnam as a CW2 pilot. The panel includes Vietnam Vets who served as a radiologist, aircraft commander and a dog handler during the war.

A swell of French music

AADL has just received an influx of the best of French popular music. If you are a Gallophile, or simply a music buff, you may have heard of several of these musicians already. If not, check these performers out and discover some great music from across the pond.

Helena - This Portuguese-born media darling has been a model, actress, pop star, and now musician in the French-speaking parts of Europe.

Yann Tiersen - France's best known multi-instrumentalist, composer, and artist, Tiersen's melancholy, folk-inspired sound has made him a star in the soundtrack business. You may know him as the composer of the music in Amelie.

Élodie Frégé - She made her musical debut as a contestant on a French talent search reality-TV show. She may not have had the most powerful voice in the competition, but her soulful music won the title.

Raphael - Another multi-instrumentalist, Raphael's music is inspired by pop/rock legends like David Bowie and Bob Dylan.

Minding Frankie

Minding Frankie might take a bit of effort as far as realism is concerned, but Irish novelist Binchy creates a heartwarming story of family ties (both traditional and not so traditional) that bring a community together.

In Binchy’s 2011 novel, we meet Noel, an alcoholic stuck in a dead end job, who learns that not only is one of his exes on her deathbed, but she is pregnant with his child and desperate to find a family to care for her. Noel pulls his life together with much needed support from family and friends. His greatest supporter is his American cousin Emily, who is on an extended visit to Dublin. Emily not only rescues Noel, but she manages to quietly bring order to the lives of nearly everyone in this little circle of friends and even helps a few outsiders.

Minding Frankie is another touching story from Binchy, a writer and storyteller who will be sorely missed by her fans. The bestselling writer died on July 30 at the age of 72. Some other favorite titles from Binchy are Heart and Soul, Scarlet Feather, “The Glass Lake,” and “Firefly Summer.” Two of her novels, Circle of Friends and Tara Road (also an Oprah Book Club pick), were made into films.

"Tales of the New World"

From time to time, the desire or the time to commit to a full length novel just isn't there; this is where short stories come in. The best selling point of short stories is that if you are not particularly interested in one story, you can move on the the next without the guilt that can come with putting an entire book to rest without consideration.

Tales of the New World is a collection of ten short stories by PEN/Faulkner Award winner Sabina Murray. Some of the stories are firsthand accounts and others outside perspectives of exploring new lands around the world. Murray delves into the complex world of writing historical fiction focused on recognized historical figures. A few well-known explorers are represented in this compilation, including Magellan and Balboa, as well as lesser known explorers, such as English-born Mary Kingsley.

While there is a definite tone of bleakness and isolation, Tales of the New World offers a fascinating glimpse into the perspective of world explorers, with fictional tales of adventure tinged with strife.

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