Dispatches > Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Dating and courtship confusion," June 4, 2011


A German court convicted former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk, 91, of being an accessory to the murders of nearly 28,000 people while serving as a prison guard at the Sobibor concentration camp in Poland during World War II. The battle to prosecute Demjanjuk began in the 1980s with repeated trials and appeals in the United States, Israel, and Germany. "It serves notice on all human-rights violators that the passage of time will neither erase the world's memory of their terrible crimes nor end its commitment to holding them to account," said Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations. Demjanjuk, who received a five-year prison sentence, is free pending appeal.


Michel Martelly, a former pop musician, was inaugurated as Haiti's president March 14 on the lawn of the collapsed National Palace, succeeding René Préval. It was the first time in Haiti's history that a president transferred power to a member of the opposition.


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Two-time gymnastics gold medalist Peter Vidmar, 49, resigned May 6 as chief of mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team after gay-rights supporters criticized his opposition to same-sex marriage. Vidmar, a Mormon, participated in a rally and donated $2,000 to support California's marriage amendment, Proposition 8. Although the U.S. Olympic Committee said it respected his "right to religious freedom," Vidmar said he could not let his presence "become a detriment to the U.S. Olympic family."


An Iranian court agreed to grant a woman's request for retribution by blinding a man with acid after a court convicted him of doing the same to her. In 2004, Majid Movahedi threw a jar of acid into Ameneh Bahrami's face because she refused to marry him. The assault left her blind and disfigured. Human-rights groups condemned the court's application of Shariah law.


NBC Today show co-host Meredith Vieira, 57, says personal matters spurred her to leave the morning program in June. Ann Curry will succeed Vieira, hosting opposite Matt Lauer.


Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 63, and Maria Shriver, 55, a journalist and member of the Kennedy family, have separated after Schwarzenegger admitted he fathered a child with a former household staffer. Shriver, a Roman Catholic, had four children with Schwarzenegger during their 25-year marriage.


A former Nepalese foreign minister died May 9 while attempting to become the oldest person to climb Mount Everest. Shailendra Kumar Upadhyaya, 82, undertook the climb to raise awareness about the abilities of elderly people.


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