Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Signs and wonders," Jan. 26, 2008

DIED: Sir Edmund Hillary, 88, who along with his guide Tenzing Norgay became the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest, died Jan. 11. After his momentous climb, Hillary raised money for humanitarian work in Nepal, returning to the country more than 120 times. The former beekeeper once said of his accomplishments, "I really am an ordinary person with a few abilities which I've tried to use in the best way I can."

DIED: U.S. figure skating champion Christopher Bowman was found dead Jan. 10 in a Los Angeles motel. "Bowman the Showman," 40, led a turbulent life outside the rink, including run-ins with the law and a history of drug abuse. His death is under investigation as a possible drug overdose.

SENTENCED: Disgraced Olympic track star Marion Jones was sentenced to six months in prison and two years of probation with community service for lying about using steroids. Jones, 31, had pleaded for a lighter sentence to avoid separation from her two young sons, but Judge Kenneth Karas said Jones' status as a former sports star and role model meant that "there are times when a sentence can have a deterrent factor."

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RETIRING: Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., 79, announced he will not seek a new term after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is currently serving his 14th term in Congress. A native of Hungary, Lantos in 1944 escaped from a Nazi camp and took refuge in a safe house in Budapest set up by Swedish humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg.

RESIGNED: Televangelists Benny Hinn and I.V. Hilliard resigned as regents for scandal-ridden Oral Roberts University. They join televangelists Jesse Duplantis and Creflo Dollar, who stepped down from the board in December.

FREED: Two women held hostage by Colombian FARC rebels for more than five years each were released and reunited with family on Jan. 10. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez brokered a deal to secure the freedom of Colombian politician Consuelo Gonzalez and Clara Rojas, an aide to hostage and former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. Rojas was reunited with her 3-year-old son, who was fathered and born in captivity but taken from her and placed in state care when he was 8 months old.

INAUGURATED: Bobby Jindal, 36, was sworn in as Louisiana's 55th governor on Jan. 14, becoming the nation's first Indian-American elected to such a position.


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