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Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Ghost streets," Feb. 27, 2010

WAITING: A Vermont judge gave Virginia mother Lisa Miller 30 days to appear in court with her 7-year-old biological daughter, Isabella, or else face arrest for disappearing with the girl before Miller was supposed to hand her over to Miller's former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins. Although Judge William Cohen found Miller in violation of his transfer of custody order, he rejected Jenkins' request for a contempt-of-court citation against Miller. Instead, Cohen set Feb. 23 as the deadline for Miller to resurface with Isabella. During the hearing, Miller's Liberty Counsel attorney Rena Lindevaldsen, who said she has no knowledge of Miller's whereabouts, requested to withdraw from the case because she has had no contact with Miller since her disappearance and doesn't believe she can represent her adequately-a request Cohen denied.

TREATED: Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams has sparked controversy after he seemingly shunned Canada's government-sponsored healthcare in favor of having a heart procedure performed at an undisclosed U.S. location. Williams, 60, reportedly decided to seek care outside of his country after consulting with his doctors.

WELCOMED: A U.S. judge granted a German family political asylum after it fled its homeland because it was barred from homeschooling. Christians Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who came to Tennessee in 2008 with their five children, said they faced religious persecution and the threat of fines and jail time for not complying with Germany's compulsory school attendance policy. In his ruling, immigration Judge Lawrence Burman said "the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate."

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CONVICTED: It took a jury only 37 minutes to convict Scott Roeder of first-degree murder in last year's shooting death of Kansas abortionist George Tiller. During the trial, Roeder, 51, testified that he shot Tiller because, "I did what I thought needed to be done to protect the children." Roeder's sentencing is scheduled for March 9.

DIED: Long-time University of Notre Dame philosophy professor Dr. Ralph McInerny, perhaps best-known for his Father Dowling mystery novels, died Jan. 29 at the age of 80.

DIED: Former U.S. representative Charlie Wilson, a flamboyant 12-term Democrat, died Feb. 10 at 76. Wilson became the subject of a controversial movie over his real-life use of CIA funds to finance and arm the Afghan insurgency in the 1980s that drove out the Soviets.

DIED: Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who in 1974 became the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress, died Feb. 8 after suffering complications from gallbladder surgery at 77. The lawmaker, dubbed the "King of Pork" for the number of tax dollars he funneled into his home district, wielded extensive clout as chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee and was a leading critic of the Iraq war. His death means another Democratic congressional seat will be up for grabs.

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