Dispatches > Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Libyan exodus," March 26, 2011


The last American World War I veteran died on Feb. 27, almost a month after reaching the age of 110. Frank W. Buckles was born in a Missouri farmhouse and quit school at age 16 to enlist in the Army to fight World War I. He also spent over three years as a civilian captive during World War II. "I knew there'd be only one someday," he told The Washington Post several years ago. "I didn't think it would be me."


Actress Jane Russell, 89, died March 1. Although she was best known as a voluptuous brunette who starred alongside screen legends like Marilyn Monroe, Russell turned to gospel singing in the later part of her career and founded Hollywood Christian Group, a Bible study for Christian actors. After a back-alley abortion left her sterile at a young age, Russell adopted three children and founded the World Adoption International Fund.


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The United States Army has filed 22 new charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning, who allegedly downloaded sensitive intelligence information and disclosed it to an "unauthorized source." Manning is believed to be the source for WikiLeaks since the anti-secrecy website published some of the 150,000 State Depart­ment cables Manning allegedly downloaded. One of the new charges, aiding the enemy, is a capital offense, but prosecutors say they will not seek Manning's execution.


Alleged killer Jared Loughner pleaded not guilty March 9 to 49 charges in the Tucson shooting that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. A grand jury added 46 charges, including that he injured participants at a "federally provided activity," an unusual-and perhaps risky-argument that contends the shooting happened on protected federal ground because constituents were meeting a member of Congress. The new charges may carry the death penalty.


Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics, resigned March 4 after drawing criticism for his decision to accept a $2.4 million donation from a foundation connected to the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Davies also became an economic envoy to the Libyan government and advised Libya on its sovereign wealth fund. Nobel Prize-winning British scientist Richard Roberts also resigned from the board of the Qaddafis' foundation, saying the foundation's donation to the LSE lacked "clarity or transparency."


Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., has become the eighth senator and the third Republican to announce that he won't seek reelection in 2012. Ensign faces an ongoing ethics investigation into his extramarital affair with a staffer and a $96,000 payment her family received after quitting Ensign's staff. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, also announced that he will not seek another term after 22 years in the Senate.


Sirhan B. Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, won't be leaving prison. The California Board of Parole Hearings has denied him parole for the 14th time despite one of Sirhan's victims testifying that he would not be opposed to Sirhan's parole. The panel said that Sirhan, who claims he has no memory of the shooting, failed to demonstrate an understanding of the magnitude of his crime.


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