Dispatches > Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Between Hell and Hope," Feb. 12, 2011

Retiring

Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., announced they will not seek reelection in 2012. Although Lieberman, who left the Democratic Party in 2006 after a primary defeat but won the general election as an Independent, has caucused with Democrats, his retirement may be a boon to Democrats who feared a three-way race could open up the door to a GOP win. The Democrats' ability to retain Conrad's seat is questionable, however, after Republicans won North Dakota's other Senate seat and at-large House seat in 2010.

Sentenced

An Egyptian court sentenced Mohammed Ahmed Hassanein, 39, a Muslim man also called Hammam al-Kamouni, to death Jan. 16 for the murder of six Coptic Christians and a Muslim guard last year. The attack in the town of Naga Hamady took place as worshippers exited a church on Jan. 6, 2010. Two other accomplices face sentencing in February.

Died

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R. Sargent Shriver, the brother-in-law of President John F. Kennedy and the founding director of the Peace Corps, leader of President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty," and George McGovern's running mate in 1972, died Jan. 18 at age 95.

Ordained

Three former Anglican bishops who left the Church of England over concerns about changes in the denomination received ordination as priests into the Roman Catholic Church during a ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in London on Jan. 15. John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham, and Keith Newton were the first to accept the Vatican's 2009 invitation welcoming disaffected Anglicans into the Catholic Church while allowing them to adhere to many of their Anglican traditions.

Fined

A British judge has ordered the owners of a Cornwall bed and breakfast to pay approximately $5,800 in damages to a gay couple for refusing to rent a room in their home to the men. Although the judge acknowledged that his ruling would impact the rights of Peter and Hazelmary Bull and force "them to act in a manner contrary to their deeply and genuinely held beliefs," he maintained that their policy of not renting rooms to unmarried couples-and therefore gay couples-violated the country's Equality Act.

Absent

Two years after Apple CEO Steve Jobs, 55, took a leave of absence to undergo a liver transplant, the pancreatic cancer survivor is once again stepping away from Apple to focus on his health for an undisclosed period of time. Chief operating officer Tim Cook will oversee day-to-day operations during Jobs' absence.

Withdrawn

Richard Land, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has withdrawn from a coalition that promotes the right of Muslims to build mosques in their communities. The Interfaith Coalition on Mosques filed a friend of the court brief opposing a lawsuit to stop a planned mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, where SBC is headquartered. Land told the Associated Press his Baptist constituents support religious freedom, but "it's a bridge too far not only to advocate for that, but to file suit."

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