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Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Northern light," Sept. 20, 2008

RESIGNED: After only a year at the helm, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda announced Sept. 1 he is resigning. The 72-year-old leader, who succeeded Shinzo Abe last September after Abe's equally abruptly departure, was expected to bring stability and restore credibility to the Liberal Democratic Party. He struggled with low approval ratings, missteps, and scandal, and said he was bowing out so his party could choose a new leader. A Sept. 22 election will determine Fukuda's replacement.

VICTORY: With a federal indictment hanging over his head, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska slid to an easy Republican primary win last month, setting the stage for a November face-off with popular Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. The senator, 84, will have to take a break from campaigning, however, to appear in court Sept. 22 to defend himself against charges he received thousands of dollars in gifts from VECO, an oil services company. Despite the FBI corruption probe, Stevens says he believes he can still prevail in the upcoming election: "Alaskans trust me. This is still a Republican state."

KILLED: A Russian journalist died Aug. 31 while in the custody of Russian police, fueling speculation that police assassinated him because he ran an opposition website. Police said they accidentally shot Magomed Yevloyev after he allegedly lunged for an officer's gun, a report human-rights groups are challenging. Just weeks before Yevloyev's death, the editor of his website (Ingushetiya.ru) fled the country and applied for political asylum in France.

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DEPLOYING: Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden will bid farewell Oct. 3 to his oldest son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, 39, who leaves for Iraq with the Army National Guard. This month 19-year-old Track Palin, the eldest child of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is set to deploy to Iraq with the Army Infantry.

SCHIAVOED: The mother of a 57-year-old Florida woman who has been in and out of a hospital and nursing home since suffering a stroke last December is battling her son-in-law to keep her daughter alive. Martha Tatro says her daughter, Karen Weber, is alert and responsive at times, but Weber's husband Raymond claims she is in a vegetative state. He sought earlier this year to have her feeding tube removed.

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