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Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "2010 The Year Ahead," Jan. 16, 2010

BORN: The Duggar family received an early Christmas gift Dec. 10 with the arrival of baby No. 19. Josie Brooklyn, who weighed a mere 1 pound, 6 ounces, wasn't due until March, but doctors delivered her via emergency C-section after mom Michelle Duggar developed complications from high blood pressure. Josie remains in stable condition in the neonatal unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

SENTENCED: China handed longtime human-rights activist Liu Xiaobo, 54, a harsh sentence on Christmas Day-11 years in jail for "inciting subversion of state power." The former university professor was also imprisoned after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and plans to appeal the conviction, which legal experts say is the longest sentence on record since 1997.

DIVORCING: Nearly six months after South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted publicly to having an affair, his wife Jenny filed for divorce, saying efforts to reconcile have been unsuccessful. The 47-year-old mother of four, who first learned of the affair a year ago, is due to release in April Staying True, a memoir about coping with her husband's infidelity. A final hearing on the divorce request is set for Feb. 26.

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ADOPTED: Jim and Karen Jacobson of Michigan-based Christian Freedom International, a ministry that supports persecuted Christians, have expanded their quiver with the adoption of eight Burmese refugee children. Even though the orphaned children lacked birth certificates from their war-torn country, a U.S. judge cleared the way for the adoption to move forward. In Burma the children were part of the Karen ethnic minority, a predominately Christian group that suffers severe persecution at the hands of Burma's military regime.

APPROVED: Time magazine announced Dec. 16 that it named Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, 56, its Person of the Year for 2009. "His creative leadership helped ensure that 2009 was a period of weak recovery rather than catastrophic depression," wrote Time's Michael Grunwald, "and he still wields unrivaled power over our money, our jobs, our savings, and our national future." A day later, the Senate Banking Committee approved Bernanke's nomination to a second four-year term. He still faces a full vote in the Senate, where senators on both sides of the aisle are expected to oppose him.

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