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Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Geo-gizmos," April 25, 2009

NAMED: President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships will not include Tony Dungy. The former Indianapolis Colts coach declined to serve on the panel, citing scheduling conflicts. It will include gay activist Harry Knox of the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign, who accepted, along with eight others named April 6 to complete the 25-member panel. Included is Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and formerly at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where he litigated religious freedom cases. Picarello is expected to be a conservative voice on issues of religious freedom and conscientious objections.

WORKED OUT: West Point cadet David Swanson, 21, ran more than 107 miles during a 24-hour period as part of an effort to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project, which assists military personnel wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. Organized by Swanson, the 24 Hour Brigade included approximately 300 participants who logged 1,810 miles at Oklahoma's Yukon High School track. The March 20-21 event raised nearly $29,600 for the nonprofit group.

REVERSAL: The Justice Department filed a motion April 1 to dismiss its corruption case against former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, due to prosecutor misconduct. Attorney General Eric Holder concluded "that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial." Just days after his conviction, Stevens, 85, narrowly lost his Senate re-election bid to Democrat Mark Begich. The Alaska Republican Party is now calling for an election do-over.

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STRIPPED: The Episcopal Church defrocked long-time priest Ann Holmes Redding April 1 after she failed to renounce her faith in Islam. Redding, who became a Muslim in 2006, has maintained that she also remained a practicing Christian. She alleged that neither faith contradicted the other, but Episcopal Church leaders did not agree, stating that "a priest of the church cannot be both a Christian and a Muslim."

REVIVED: Hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2008 election, the Republican National Committee tapped former Microsoft executive Todd Herman to revamp the party's use of technology. Herman, who founded SpinSpotter.com to detect spin in news stories, considers his most important roles "Christian, husband, and father."

DIED: Tom Braden, the liberal co-host of CNN's pioneering talk show Crossfire, died April 3. Braden, 92, also authored Eight Is Enough, a book about the misadventures of his eight children that later spawned a television sitcom.

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