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So what was the question?

"So what was the question?" Continued...

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

Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guard on March 23 captured 15 British sailors and marines whom the Iranians said strayed into their territorial waters. The Britons, a boarding party from the frigate HMS Cornwall, were seized during a routine inspection of a merchant ship. The incident mushroomed into a diplomatic crisis when Iranian authorities hinted they would try the prisoners for espionage. Despite Britain's demands for the seamen's return-and escalating nuclear tensions between Iran and the West-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held the Brits captive for 13 days before releasing them.

For a moment in early spring, the West seemed to pause for a look at a new, old story: March 25 marked the 200th anniversary of Britain's abolition of slavery-and the first exposure for many to a 19th-century British parliamentarian named William Wilberforce. The film Amazing Grace, released in February nationwide, related the twin tales of Wilberforce's 20-year anti-slavery battle and his struggle to serve God as a Christian while remaining an effective politician. The film also directed worldwide attention to modern-day slavery.

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