Dispatches > Human Race
Associated Press/Photo by Don Petersen

Human Race

Issue: "Gulf toil," June 5, 2010

Inquiry

Liberty University announced May 10 it will conduct an investigation into possible discrepancies in the personal testimony of seminary president Ergun Caner, the first former Muslim to become president of an evangelical seminary. The controversy centers on statements Caner has made about his upbringing that may contradict recently unearthed official documents. University provost Ron Godwin will head up the investigating committee, which plans to report its findings by June 30.

Kidnapped

Three Samaritan's Purse employees were abducted in Sudan May 18 after they were stopped by a group of armed men in the volatile Darfur region. The team of two Sudanese men and a 36-year-old American woman from California were part of a two-vehicle convoy at the time of the kidnapping, and the relief group said in a statement it was "working with U.S. and Sudanese government officials to secure the safe return of our staff." It was the first abduction in Sudan for the group, headed by Franklin Graham, which has worked in Sudan for over a decade.

Cleared

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A British preacher, who spent time in jail for calling homosexuality sinful, won't face disciplinary action after officials dropped charges against him. Dale McAlpine, 42, was distributing tracts April 20 when a gay police officer reportedly heard him tell a passerby that homosexuality is a sin. Officers arrested him under Britain's Public Order Act 1986, which outlaws threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behavior intended to harass or cause distress. In 2002, a British court used Public Order Act 1986 to convict Harry Hammond for displaying a sign that read "Stop Immorality, Stop Homosexuality, Stop Lesbianism, Jesus is Lord."

Died

Doris Eaton Travis, the last living Ziegfeld Follies Girl, died May 11 at the age of 106. Travis signed on as a performer at the age of 14, making her the youngest of the famed chorus girls.

Died

Jazz singer and actress Lena Horne, who in the 1940s broke down racial barriers as one of the first African-Americans with a Hollywood contract, died May 9. On screen, Horne refused to play maids or other roles typically offered to African-American actors: "They didn't make me into a maid," she wrote in her autobiography, "but they didn't make me into anything else either." In later years, Horne, 92, emerged as an outspoken civil-rights activist.

Hospitalized

Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, suffered a mild stroke May 11. Doctors expect the 41-year-old Delaware attorney general, who earlier this year decided against running for his father's former Senate seat, to make a full recovery. Although the cause of the stroke is unknown, the Biden family has a history of vascular problems: In 1988, the elder Biden underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm.

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