DETAINED: North Korean authorities detained two U.S. journalists working March 17 along the Chinese--North Korean border on a story about North Korean refugees and human trafficking. North Korea alleges that Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's online media outlet Current TV, illegally intruded into the communist country and disregarded warnings to stop filming. U.S. officials are working to secure their release.
HIRED: Calvin College announced that Mary Hulst, the first U.S. woman ordained as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church, will serve as the school's next chaplain. Hulst, 39, will take over in June.
FLED: The wife and children of Gao Zhisheng, a Christian attorney who has drawn international attention to China's human-rights abuses, escaped from China and arrived safely in the United States March 11-just weeks after Chinese officials seized Gao. China Aid and other groups helped his wife Geng He, her 15-year-old daughter, and 5-year old son sneak out of the country after the government barred the family from applying for passports. No one has heard from Gao, who also faced detention and torture in 2007, since his Feb. 4 capture.
CAMPAIGNING: Andrei Lugovoi, the main suspect in the 2006 poisoning death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, will likely run for mayor of Sochi, the Russian city set to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The former KGB bodyguard is considered a wanted man in Britain, but Russian officials have refused to extradite Lugovoi. British investigators allege that Litvinenko's death was a state-sponsored assassination.
DOCTORED: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced that she plans to undergo a precautionary round of chemotherapy this spring in spite of successful cancer surgery. Since her diagnosis, Ginsburg, 76, has continued working and doesn't anticipate missing court sessions during the treatments. In March, Ginsburg had said there could be a vacancy on the high court "soon," but she did not elaborate.
STILL SYNDICATING: April 17 is the 25th anniversary of Cal Thomas' syndicated column. Newspapers are biting the dust-the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News are two of the latest to go-but about 500 (including worldmag.com and WORLD) carry Thomas.
DIED: Actor Ron Silver, who played White House strategist Bruno Gianelli in the television drama The West Wing, died March 15 of cancer. A onetime liberal Democrat, Silver, 62, became an outspoken supporter of former President George W. Bush following the events of 9/11, a move he said later cost him job opportunities in Hollywood.
DIED: Historian John Hope Franklin, who penned the venerated From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, died March 25. Franklin, 94, worked to end school segregation and in 1995 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.