Dispatches > Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Focus on Mitt Romney," July 16, 2011


Leon Panetta, 73, will become the 23rd U.S. secretary of defense, replacing the retiring Robert Gates on July 1. The Senate confirmed the CIA director to the new post, 100-0, on June 21. He is set to be replaced at CIA by Gen. David Petraeus, who received unanimous backing from the Senate June 30.


Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak faces deteriorating health due to complications from what may be stomach cancer, said his lawyer-a report that contradicts an Egyptian medical official who said Mubarak does not have a serious illness. Mubarak, 83, remains hospitalized while he awaits his Aug. 3 trial for ordering the deaths of civilians in the uprising that began Jan. 25.


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Doctors diagnosed former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, 37, with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disorder that causes paralysis. Wuerffel, who after retiring from football began working for Desire Street Ministries, an organization that serves impoverished communities, is able to stand but is experiencing weakness in his legs. "He's hanging in there," said his wife Jessica. "His faith is strong."


Prison Fellowship named Garland Hunt its new president. Hunt, who served as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice until January, currently pastors The Father's House and is vice president of Wellington Boone Ministries in Atlanta.


NASA astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly says he will retire later this year, an announcement that comes as NASA is due to retire its space shuttle fleet this summer. Kelly, home in June after commanding the final Endeavour flight, says he will focus on helping his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., recover after a gunman shot her in the head in Tucson.


Shepherds College, an advanced program for the developmentally disabled in Union Grove, Wis., graduated its first class of five on June 11 ("Dreaming big," May 22, 2010). Grads received job offers from nearby ministries and businesses, and the school anticipates graduating seven students in 2012.


Former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba died June 18 at the age of 68. Chiluba, once described as a fervent Christian, became Zambia's first democratically elected president in 1991. He tarnished his legacy as an advocate for democracy when he suppressed political opposition and faced accusations he embezzled state funds.


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