Dispatches > Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Border bandits," Dec. 3, 2011


A jury convicted Dr. Conrad Murray, 58, of involuntary manslaughter for giving the powerful anesthetic Propofol to Michael Jackson, resulting in the pop star's 2009 drug-overdose death. Murray, who faces up to four years in prison, plans to appeal.


A new round of Guantanamo Bay war crimes tribunals has begun with the arraignment of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 46, a Saudi held for nine years for his suspected role in planning the USS Cole bombing in 2000. Although in 2009 President Obama halted new cases as part of his vow to close Guantanamo Bay, he failed to gain congressional support and announced earlier this year that the military tribunals would resume. Al-Nashiri is tentatively due to stand trial in November 2012.


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Former City Capital CEO Ephren Taylor, 29, is facing a class action lawsuit that alleges he is a con artist who targeted mostly African-American congregations-including Eddie Long's Atlanta-based New Birth Missionary Baptist Church-and swindled church members out of millions of dollars. The charismatic Taylor reportedly gave financial seminars at the churches where he promised a guaranteed return. But attorneys say it was really a Ponzi scheme that fell apart. Federal authorities also are investigating Taylor.


Authorities rescued Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, 24, after gunmen kidnapped him while he visited family in Venezuela on Nov. 9. Ramos said his captors, six of whom are now in jail, had planned to seek a hefty ransom. The Major League Baseball rookie is expected to remain in the country to play for his Venezuelan winter ball team.


Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, stars of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, announced last month that they are expecting their 20th child. Their 19th child, Josie, arrived in 2009 three and a half months premature after Michelle, 45, encountered complications.


Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, who prevailed in 1971 over Muhammad Ali in a 15-round boxing match dubbed the Fight of the Century, died Nov. 7 at age 67.


Just weeks after stepping down from his chair on CBS's 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney died Nov. 4 at age 92. The curmudgeonly commentator had worked at CBS for 62 years.


"Family Circus" comic creator Bil Keane died Nov. 8 at age 89. Keane began drawing characters Billy, Jeffy, Dolly, P.J., and their parents in February 1960, often mining from his own family experiences to highlight the humor of home life. Today Keane's son Jeff creates the one-panel cartoon, which appears in nearly 1,500 newspapers.


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