Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Cities of God and Man," March 27, 2010

RELEASED: North Korea has freed Robert Park, the Korean-American missionary who on Dec. 25 intentionally entered the communist nation carrying a letter calling on dictator Kim Jong Il to free political prisoners and resign. Prior to his release, Park, 28, reportedly told North Korea's official news agency that he had been misled by Western propaganda and is now convinced that North Korea "respects the rights of all people and guarantees their freedom." Since returning to the United States on Feb. 6, Park has not discussed his 43-day ordeal and his family has requested privacy.

ISSUED: A Vermont judge has issued an arrest warrant for Virginia mother Lisa Miller after she failed to appear in court with her 7-year-old biological daughter Isabella last month. Miller allegedly disappeared with her daughter after Judge William Cohen ordered a transfer of custody from Miller to her former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins. Currently the arrest warrant only applies in Vermont.

RESIGNED: American Family Association founder and chairman Donald Wildmon resigned March 3. A lengthy illness-including a bout of encephalitis and cancer of the eye-spurred Wildmon, 72, to step aside after more than 30 years at his post. Wildmon's son Tim is expected to take over leadership of the ministry.

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ADMONISHED: Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., announced March 3 he would step down as chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee pending the conclusion of an investigation into whether he committed ethics violations. Thus far, the House ethics committee has formally admonished Rangel, 79, for violating rules on receiving gifts. Democrats tapped Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., to replace Rangel as chairman of the committee.

RETIRED: Pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who in January 2009 safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in New York's Hudson River after the plane's engines lost power, retired March 3. Sullenberger, 59, capped off his 30-year career by flying his final trip with First Officer Jeff Skiles, his co-pilot during the "Miracle on the Hudson" emergency landing.

APPEALED: Lawyers for former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who is serving a 24-year prison term on 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and insider trading related to Enron's 2001 collapse, appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court March 1 to argue that the 2006 conviction was tainted by jury bias and rested on a vague statute. The case marks the third time this term that the high court has taken up a case involving the federal honest-services fraud law, which makes it a crime to deprive a business or government of "honest services." The court is expected to rule by mid-summer on whether to grant Skilling a new trial.

DANCING: Former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star Kate Gosselin appears to be staying busy since her messy, high-profile divorce last year. She has laced up her dancing shoes to star in the latest installment of Dancing with the Stars premiering March 22. In April, the 34-year-old mother of eight is due to release her book, I Just Want You to Know: Letters to My Kids on Love, Faith and Family. She is also reportedly in production for a new TLC series-this time minus the children.


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