Egyptian authorities arrested and later released three American students accused of throwing firebombs at security forces during protests in Egypt last month. Luke Gates, 21, of Indiana University, Gregory Porter, 19, of Drexel, and Derrik Sweeney, 19, of Georgetown returned to the United States on Nov. 26 saying authorities had falsely accused them and subjected them to rough treatment while in custody. The three men were studying at the American University in Cairo.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, 59, launched his presidential campaign with a warning to the West not to interfere in the country's election process. Putin served two presidential terms before stepping down in 2008 due to laws barring him from a third consecutive term. His carefully groomed protégé, current President Dmitri Medvedev, is expected to switch positions with Putin-a move that has irritated the Russian populace.
Craig Schoenfeld and Katie Koberg, two of Newt Gingrich's former Iowa campaign staffers who resigned along with several others in June, have returned as advisers for the former House speaker's presidential campaign. The mass departure followed disagreements between Gingrich and his staffers over the direction of the campaign. Their return comes as Gingrich experiences an upswing in the polls.
George Gallup Jr., who as an executive with the Gallup Organization continued the polling work his father started, died Nov. 21 at age 81. Gallup had once pondered becoming an Episcopal priest and graduated from Princeton with a degree in religion. In the mid 1950s he returned to the family firm, where he became one of the first pollsters to conduct surveys examining religious views in America.
Wall Street financier and philanthropist Theodore Forstmann died Nov. 20 at age 71. A pioneer of the leveraged buyout business, Forstmann was a free market advocate, a Republican Party supporter, and possessed a net worth estimated at $1.8 billion. Earlier this year he joined some of America's wealthiest in signing "The Giving Pledge," in which they pledged to give away at least half of their fortunes.
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's last living child, daughter Lana Peters, died Nov. 22 at age 85. Peters, born Svetlana Stalina and also known as Svetlana Alliluyeva, defected from the Soviet Union in 1967 and received political asylum in the United States.