Dispatches > Human Race
Associated Press/Martha Manning Photography

Human Race

Issue: "Face-off," Aug. 13, 2011


More than a year after an accident at her bachelorette party left Rachelle Friedman, 25, paralyzed, she made it down the aisle on July 22 and married fiancé Chris Chapman, 28. Last May, Friedman and her bridesmaids were celebrating when Friedman's best friend playfully pushed the bride-to-be into a pool. Friedman's head struck the pool floor, injuring her spinal cord. Despite the tragedy, Friedman and Chapman remained upbeat about the future. "We're definitely built to last," Chapman said last November. "She was and is my best friend. I cannot wait to marry her."


Maryland pastor and Sovereign Grace Ministries leader C.J. Mahaney began a leave of absence June 30 after facing accusations including pride, deceit, and hypocrisy. "These charges (from former pastors and leaders in Sovereign Grace) are serious and they have been very grieving to read," said Mahaney, who plans to use the time away to receive counselling. The Sovereign Grace Ministries board said because the charges are also directed at the ministry, it will undergo review by an independent panel.


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Jim and Mary O'Reilly, owners of the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, Vt., are facing a lawsuit after they declined to host a wedding reception for Katherine Baker and Ming Linsley. The O'Reillys told the lesbian couple they do not host gay receptions because of their Catholic beliefs. The lawsuit accuses the O'Reillys of violating Vermont's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which bars lodging sites from denying service to patrons based on sexual orientation. The inn's updated website says the venue is "no longer hosting weddings or special events."


FBI authorities have arrested a man they say worked as a Pakistani agent while trying to influence U.S. policy against India's interest in Kashmir, a disputed region between India and Pakistan. Lobbyist and U.S. citizen Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, directed the Kashmiri American Council, which received millions of dollars from the Pakistani government to promote Pakistan's interest in the region. Some of the funds were distributed as campaign donations to members of Congress and presidential candidates.


The Ohio Supreme Court ruled last month in a same-sex custody battle that the child's biological birth mother does not have to share parental rights with her former partner. Although Michelle Hobbs shared parental duties and was the child's guardian during the relationship, the justices found that Kelly Mullen never created a permanent shared custody agreement with Hobbs, and therefore any previous arrangements were revocable.


The discovery last year of a decades-old train ticket led Illinois authorities to press charges last month against a Seattle man suspected in the 1957 abduction and murder of a 7-year-old girl. Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, who was a person of interest at the time of the kidnapping, had told investigators he left town by train the day Maria Ridulph disappeared, but his alibi began to unravel after a former girlfriend reportedly found his unused ticket dated for the same day.


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