Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "2009 Books Issue," July 4, 2009

SENTENCED: North Korea sentenced U.S. reporters Euna Lee, 36, and Laura Ling, 32, to 12 years of hard labor in prison for allegedly entering the country illegally. Authorities captured the duo March 17 near the China-North Korean border where they were working on a story about human trafficking. The June 8 verdict is the latest act of defiance by the communist nation, which in May began conducting a series of nuclear and missile tests.

DETHRONED: Miss California Carrie Prejean, 21, lost her crown June 10 after California pageant officials allegedly fired her because she failed to make public appearances on behalf of the organization. Although pageant owner Donald Trump had defended the beauty queen a month ago when she faced criticism for racy photos and anti-gay marriage comments, this time he sided with pageant officials. According to Prejean's attorney Charles Limandri, however, the announcement was a shock: "It is not true that she has not been cooperating. Something is going on; the truth is not being told."

DIED: Kansas City conservative writer Rich Nadler, 60, died at his computer on May 30. During his career he edited the regional publication K.C. Jones, was president of American Majority, and wrote about the pro-life Jewish tradition.

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ARRESTED: FBI agents arrested a former U.S. State Department official and his wife June 4 on charges they spied for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years. The Justice Department alleges that Walter Kendall Myers, 72, with help from his wife Gwendolyn, 71, used his security clearances to access classified information that he passed on to the Cuban government. The couple will remain in jail until their trial.

CLASHED: Phoenix Bishop Richard Painter received a suspended 10-day prison sentence after a judge ruled June 3 that his church's tolling bells violated a city noise ordinance. City residents had complained that the bells at Cathedral of Christ the King were too loud and rang too frequently. The judge ordered the church to restrict its bell ringing to only two minutes on Sundays and specific religious holidays at 60 decibels, which is about as loud as a normal conversation. Painter plans to appeal.

SENTENCED: A Chinese court found house church leader and Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan, 38, guilty June 10 of "illegal business operation," sentencing him to three years in prison and fining him nearly $22,000. According to Compass Direct News, although Shi had printed Bibles and other Christian materials without government approval, he operated his business legally by only selling items for which he had permission to sell.


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