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Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Flame-outs," May 8, 2010

RELAUNCHED: After a seven-year hiatus as a Christian music artist, Jennifer Knapp, 36, has re-launched her career with a new mainstream album-and revelations that she has been in a same-sex relationship for about eight years. While the four-time Dove Award winner has acknowledged that her news may alienate Christian fans, she told Christianity Today, "I'm just a normal human being who's dealing with normal everyday life scenarios."

TRIED: In 2006, complications from childbirth left Abbie Dorn, 34, severely brain-damaged. Her husband Dan eventually divorced her and has refused to allow her to see the triplets she nearly died having. Abbie's parents, who say her condition has improved with therapy, are now asking a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to grant Abbie visitation rights. But Dan, who is seeking child support from Abbie-the recipient of a multimillion-dollar malpractice settlement-argues that such visits would be too traumatic for the nearly 4-year-old children. A trial is set for May 13.

CLIMBER: Jordan Romero, 13, is preparing to scale Mount Everest with the goal of becoming the youngest climber to reach the world's highest peak. The California boy, who has already climbed the highest mountains on five continents-including Mount Kilimanjaro when he was 10-hopes to reach Everest's summit in May, accompanied by his father and stepmother.

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RETIRING: Rep. Bart Stupak, 58, announced his retirement in the wake of a bruising healthcare fight that culminated when the traditionally pro-life Stupak voted for the healthcare bill-after blocking it over the use of public funds for abortions. The nine-term Michigan Democrat insisted his healthcare switch would not have cost him reelection, but it infuriated pro-life groups and spurred the national Tea Party Express to launch a $250,000 "Defeat Bart Stupak" ad campaign. The district, which voted for Barack Obama by 50 percent last year but voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, is a pick-up opportunity for Republicans.

DIED: Civil-rights leader Benjamin Hooks, who spent 15 years at the helm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, died April 15 at the age of 85. Hooks, a Baptist minister, was the first African-American appointed to the Federal Communications Commission. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

DIED: Civil-rights heroine Dorothy Height, who led the National Council of Negro Women for four decades and helped found the National Women's Political Caucus, died April 20 at the age of 98.

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