Tea Party activists argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court May 25 that voters should be allowed to decide whether to oust Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez from office. Supporters of the recall effort-which stems from Menendez's support for issues like the healthcare overhaul-say a state law permitting the removal of public officials should apply to the U.S. senator. If the court approves the recall initiative, activists will need to collect 1.3 million signatures within 320 days to qualify the measure for the ballot.
A Michigan judge sent Kwame Kilpatrick, 40, back to jail May 25, saying the former Detroit mayor had continued to lie while on probation and had failed to disclose money that should have gone toward paying $1 million in restitution to the city of Detroit. Kilpatrick, who still owes the Motor City $860,000, previously served 99 days in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges. He now faces up to five more years in prison.
Iran recently granted the mothers of three detained American hikers the opportunity to visit with their children for the first time since authorities seized Josh Fattal, 28, Shane Bauer, 27, and Sarah Shourd, 31, after they allegedly crossed the Iranian border in July 2009. Officials have not yet formally charged the trio but have accused them of espionage. Although the mothers returned home empty-handed May 22, they did have some happier news to report: Bauer and Shourd are engaged.
Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper are separating after 40 years of marriage. The couple broke the news to friends and associates in a June 1 email, calling the separation "very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration." They would not, they wrote, make any further comment.
Art Linkletter, the People Are Funny and House Party television host with a knack for getting kids to say "the darndest things," died May 26 at age 97. The adopted son of a preacher, Linkletter was a staunch conservative who campaigned against drug abuse and the "moral decline" of the country following his daughter's 1969 suicide. He later served as a spokesman for World Vision. Linkletter often said his greatest achievement was his 74-year marriage to his wife, Lois, who survives him.
Dennis Hopper, 74, director and star of the 1969 film Easy Rider, died of complications from prostate cancer on May 29. Hopper, an icon of the counterculture who renounced his past drug abuse and quietly became a Republican in the 1980s, also starred in Apocalypse Now, Hoosiers, and Speed, among other hit films.