Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "The Road to Cana," Feb. 23, 2008

DIED: One of only two known surviving U.S. World War I veterans died Feb. 11. Harry Richard Landis, 108, enlisted in the Army in 1918 but the war ended before the 18-year-old finished his training. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Frank Buckles, 107, of Charles Town, W.Va., is the only living U.S. World War I veteran.

DIED: Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress, died Feb. 11 at Bethesda Medical Center of complications from esophageal cancer. The 80-year-old lawmaker, preparing for his 15th campaign to represent San Francisco's west side in the U.S. House, was diagnosed with cancer in December but waited a month before revealing he was ill. Last year, he joked he was "in the mid-point of his career," and until recently swam every day in the House pool at 5:30 a.m., according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

VOLUNTEER: Age is relative for Gjertrud Anderson. At "a hundred plus three," as she puts it, Anderson is still serving lunch to the homeless at a drop-in center in downtown Minneapolis, Minn. A member of a volunteer crew from St. Paul's Pilgrim Lutheran Church, her sharp wit keeps people on their toes. "She's hard to keep up with," said fellow volunteer Ray Carlson. "Always has been. Still is."

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INCOMPLETE: Disgraced megachurch pastor Ted Haggard has ended a "spiritual restoration" process started in November 2006 after he was fired from New Life Church over a sex and drug scandal. According to a statement issued by the Colorado Springs, Colo., church, "the process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete and [New Life] maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry." Haggard is reportedly continuing an "accountability relationship" with Tommy Barnett, senior pastor of Phoenix First Assembly of God in Arizona.

SENTENCED: An Iranian court has upheld an earlier ruling sentencing two Iranian sisters to death by stoning for adultery. Zohreh and Azar Kabiri were arrested in February 2007 after Zohreh's husband produced video footage showing the sisters in the company of other men. The women were originally sentenced to 99 lashes for "inappropriate relations," but after serving their punishment they were put on trial again, this time on charges of adultery. The women's lawyer is appealing, arguing it is unconstitutional to try them twice for the same crime.


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