Features

A fair fight

"A fair fight" Continued...

Issue: "News of the Year," Dec. 29, 2007

Back at home, Li discovered that his materials for a case defending a Christian activist were stolen, along with computer records and phone cards: "It's hard for those who have not experienced this to believe it, but it happened in broad daylight in Beijing."

The Federal Bureau of Prisons reversed its strange order to remove from prison libraries all religious books not found on an approved list. The bureau said it created the list in response to concerns about violent writings in some religious materials.

But the list was arbitrary, allowing books like She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse, but not permitting books like Knowing God by J.I. Packer.

The bureau reversed the ban after it began enduring a barrage of complaints, and it promised to promptly return all the materials that had been removed.

One hundred seven. That's the number of criminal charges a Kansas district attorney filed in a complaint against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Missouri on Oct. 15.

Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline's complaint against the abortion group included charges of providing false information, failing to maintain required health records, failing to determine fetal viability, and unlawful late-term abortions.

American Life League attorney Andrew Flusche said the case might mark the first time a Planned Parenthood affiliate has to face criminal charges in a court. Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest performer of abortions.

Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto ended an eight-year exile from Pakistan with a dramatic return to Karachi on Oct. 18. Bhutto returned to reclaim a share of power with the country's U.S.-backed military leader, President Pervez Musharraf.

More than 150,000 Bhutto supporters greeted the leader by dancing, waving flags, beating drums, and shouting: "Long live Benazir!" By midnight, the festivities turned deadly when a bomb exploded along Bhutto's packed route, killing at least 136 people and wounding nearly 400.

In the chaotic days that followed, Musharraf shut down private television networks and police briefly confined Bhutto to her home. Another 5,500 opposition politicians, human-rights leaders, and journalists were jailed under a Musharraf-imposed state of emergency.

Years of federal investigation in the largest terrorism-financing case in U.S. history came down to 12 jurors overwhelmed by a mound of convoluted evidence that left them unable to reach a verdict.

A federal judge declared a mistrial in the federal government's case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLFRD), a Dallas-based Muslim charity that authorities shut down in 2001. Federal investigators claimed the group had ties to the terror group Hamas.

One juror, William Neal, summed up the prosecution's confusing case: "They just put too much on us to deal with." Members of HLFRD celebrated, but the case isn't closed: Federal prosecutors said they would try again.

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD.

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