BIRTHED: Trudi Siviter, 39, had given up hope of conceiving a baby. A cervical cancer survivor, she had only half an ovary and had suffered two ectopic pregnancies and three failed IVF attempts. Siviter scheduled a hysterectomy, but then a surprise: She was pregnant. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy in December. "It's one of God's little miracles," said Siviter's doctor, Karen Powell. "It just goes to show we can never say never."
KIDNAPPED: Gunmen kidnapped a U.S. aid worker and her Afghan driver Jan. 26 outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Cyd Mizell, 49, spent the past three years in Afghanistan working for the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation. She teaches English at a high school and helps women learn ways to generate income.
FREED: Korean-Canadian pastor Kim Jae-yeol was released from detention in North Korea more than two months after he was arrested by authorities. Kim has helped to set up medical clinics for more than a decade in the impoverished communist country but was accused of trying to set up a church. Canadian Ambassador Ted Lipman asked for his release in a January visit to Pyongyang.
RETIRING: Ten years after she became chief executive of eBay, Meg Whitman announced she will step down March 31. The 51-year-old, one of Silicon Valley's highest-profile CEOs, turned eBay into an online auction powerhouse. Whitman will remain on eBay's board but intends to concentrate on the political arena, where she serves as finance co-chair for Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. She is also said to be mulling a run for governor in California's 2010 election.
DIED: Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Jan. 27. The 97-year-old, who was considered the architect of the Mormon Church's public-relations network, became LDS president in 1995. Under his guidance the church grew to about 13 million members and more than doubled the number of temples worldwide. Hinckley was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.
DIED: Steven Nock, nationally known for research advocating marriage and family, died Jan. 20. Nock, 57, was an author and sociology professor at the University of Virginia, where he served almost a decade as a co-director of the Marriage Matters research project. Colleague W. Bradford Wilcox said Nock "understood that marriage was an important social institution that played a central role in fostering the welfare of children, adults, and communities."