Dispatches > In Brief

In Brief

"In Brief" Continued...

Issue: "False witnesses?," Oct. 5, 2002

Miss Harold, a 2001 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Illinois who was homeschooled through fourth grade, is known for her campaigns promoting teen sexual abstinence. She spent a year working with Illinois-based Project Reality to champion abstinence education programs among educators, legislators, and thousands of students. She vigorously challenged as a failure the "safe-sex" views floated by the educational establishment.

Using abstinence as her main platform issue, she won the Miss Illinois 2002 competition. She happily added the state's stand against teen violence to her platform; this was the issue highlighted in her win at the Miss America pageant. Along the way, she took time out this year to work as liaison to collegians for Illinois state senator Patrick O'Malley, a staunchly pro-life Republican, in his failed bid to win the gubernatorial primary.

Miss Harold, her three siblings, and her parents are members of 700-attendee Urbana Assembly of God, where her parents are lay leaders. Pastor Gary Grogan describes her as an exemplary Christian who "perseveres" in the face of adversity and disappointment. | Edward E. Plowman

Schulz shunned

It's final: Rev. Wallace Schulz won't be returning to the microphone as speaker on the popular weekly Lutheran Hour radio broadcast. The radio ministry is affiliated with the discord-ridden Lutheran ChurchÐMissouri Synod (LCMS), which Rev. Schulz serves as second vice president. His dismissal last month ratcheted up the tension over theological and polity issues in the largely conservative LCMS ("Here they stand," Sept. 7).

He "would not agree to stipulations deemed necessary for his return to service," said Rodger Hebermehl, executive director of Lutheran Hour Ministries. He declined to describe the nature of the stipulations or discuss Rev. Schulz's severance package. It is generally believed the stipulations would have isolated Rev. Schulz from some of his duties and prerogatives as an elected officer of the LCMS. Reached by WORLD, Rev. Schulz politely declined comment.

Rev. Schulz rejected a Lutheran Hour request last February to recuse himself from voting on discipline charges against LCMS district president David Benke for his participation in a multi-religion memorial service at Yankee Stadium following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. When Rev. Schulz suspended Rev. Benke last June, he "polarized" and "negatively affected" the Lutheran Hour ministry, Mr. Hebermehl claimed. In turn, the ministry suspended Rev. Schulz as broadcast speaker, but offered to reinstate him provided he agreed to the stipulations. | Edward E. Plowman

Don't touch that dial

It's the telecom equivalent of the "do not disturb" sign, and it may soon go national. Regulators from the Federal Communications Commission are considering a national version of the do-not-call lists that restrict telemarketing calls. The concept is already underway and popular in many states.

Once the registry starts, Americans could call a toll-free number to sign up, adding their phone numbers to a list. Telemarketers would be required to respect the members' request to be left alone. The Direct Marketing Association opposes the measure, saying it is a bureaucratic response to a problem that industry self-policing could solve.

Federal regulations already force telemarketers to stop ringing up people who ask to be put on a do-not-call list, but each consumer must ask each telemarketer, who in turn keeps his own list. The FCC now plans to review its decade-old telemarketing rules, and is holding a public-comment period on how to balance marketers' rights with consumer privacy. It is also considering how to work with the Federal Trade Commission, which is planning its own do-not-call list.

Tens of thousands of people have already signed up for various state-mandated lists. The trend started with a Missouri law and spread to 21 other states. In Oklahoma, repeat violators of the do-not-call list face up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Wilderness walk

More than 700 doctors, nurses, and patients-some of them seriously ill-fled into dense central African jungle and underbrush last month. They had escaped a massacre at a missionary medical center in Nyankunde, in the northeastern corner of the strife-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Remarkably, after walking about 115 miles in over a week, with little food or water, the group reached the town of Oicha, having lost no one on the journey, mission sources in London said. Missionaries and UN workers rushed to assist them.

Among the escapees: 75-year-old Canadian missionary Marianne Baisley. She had refused evacuation on a plane that took other expatriates out of Nyankunde on Sept. 13, after warring tribal fighters ransacked the medical facilities.

Survivors said more than 1,000 people died in eight days of inter-tribal conflict over valuable mineral deposits in the area. Reports indicated 2,000 people might still be alive amid the ruins, "with nothing left" and cholera spreading. Among those listed as dead was Salomon Isereve, lead chaplain at the Evangelical Medical Center, reportedly tortured and burned alive.

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