Dispatches > Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Babies are back," Jan. 29, 2011


A Texas judge has sentenced former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was convicted in November of illegally funneling corporate money to candidates during the 2002 state elections, to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. He also received a 10-year probation sentence for a separate money laundering conviction. DeLay, 63, is free on bail while he appeals.


White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, 39, plans to leave his post by early February to become an outside political adviser to President Barack Obama and his reelection campaign. The announcement comes as Obama prepares for other staff departures, including senior adviser David Axelrod, who is leaving to set up Obama's reelection campaign in Chicago.


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Gospel recording artist George Beverly Shea will be one of the Grammy Awards' recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 13. Shea, who turns 102 on Feb. 1, was a soloist for Billy Graham's crusades and has recorded more than 70 albums.


Florida Judge George Greer, who ordered Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removal that caused her to die from dehydration in 2005, has retired after 18 years on the bench. Greer's involvement with the case began in 2000 when he first sided with Michael Schiavo, who sought to remove his wife's feeding tube, but Terri's parents appealed Greer's rulings all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before ultimately losing the battle to save their daughter's life.


The U.S. Navy relieved of duty Capt. Owen Honors on Jan. 4 after discovering that he had produced and appeared in lewd videos while serving as second in command of the USS Enterprise. The videos aired on board the ship during 2006 and 2007 deployments. Honors has been reassigned pending further investigation, which will also scrutinize whether Honors' superiors knew about the videos and why disciplinary action wasn't taken sooner.


Dick Winters, the World War II Army officer who led Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division as recounted in the book and mini-series Band of Brothers, died Jan. 2 at age 92.


Vang Pao, the former Vietnam War general who commanded a CIA-sponsored Hmong guerrilla army fighting communist takeover, died Jan. 6 at age 81. He immigrated to the United States in 1975 after the communists seized power in Laos, and served as the revered leader of tens of thousands of Hmong refugees. In 2007, authorities arrested Vang Pao on charges of plotting to kill communist officials in Laos, but the charges were later dropped.


The youngest son of Iran's former shah committed suicide Jan. 4 at his Boston home. Alireza Pahlavi, 44, was 13 years old when the 1979 Islamic Revolution ousted his pro-Western father, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and forced his family to flee the country. The family's decades-long exile has been punctuated with grief: The shah died from cancer in 1980 and in 2001, Pahlavi's youngest sister Leila died from a drug overdose.


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