Dispatches > Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Tour d'America," June 18, 2011


Kevin "Seamus" Hasson, founder of the Becket Fund and its head for 16 years, is stepping down as the organization's president and chairman of the board. He has warred against religious oppression and is now fighting a personal battle against Parkinson's disease. William Mumma will be Becket's new president and Mary Ann Glendon will chair the board.


Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) launched his 2012 presidential run on May 23 by promising to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington. His announcement follows news that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) has decided not to run due to family reasons, positioning Pawlenty as the top challenger thus far to presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney.


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Saudi Arabian authorities arrested a woman for taking part in a campaign protesting a national law that bars women from driving. Religious police detained Manal al-Sharif, 32, after she got behind the wheel of a car May 22 and drove around with her brother. Saudi Arabia is the only country that still bars women from driving.


New York Times reporter James Risen says he will fight a subpoena aimed at forcing him to testify at the September trial of former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling, who is under investigation for allegedly leaking classified information that appeared in Risen's 2006 book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. At issue is a chapter that details a CIA plan during the Clinton administration to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.


An Egyptian court has ordered the withdrawal of citizenship for a Coptic Christian living in the United States. In stripping him of his citizenship, authorities have accused Morris Sadek, who is the president of the National American Coptic Assembly and a lawyer in Washington, D.C., of "high treason" for his incitement against Egypt. The charges include insulting Islam and supporting Judaism.


Track Palin, the 22-year-old eldest son of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, recently married his high-school sweetheart, Britta Hanson, 21. Hanson's father Duane is the pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wasilla, Alaska.


The U.S. military returned the remains of a Guantanamo captive to Afghanistan after the man reportedly committed suicide using a bed sheet. The prisoner, identified only as Inayatullah, had arrived at Guantanamo in September 2007 on suspicion of acting as a senior al-Qaeda member in Iran.


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