Dispatches > Human Race
Zimmerman (Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/AP)

Human Race

Issue: "Return to war?," May 5, 2012


After 44 days in hiding, George Zimmerman, 28, turned himself in April 11 to face charges of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., has alleged he acted in self-defense when he shot Martin as the unarmed teenager walked home, and is pleading not guilty. Prosecutors say they believe Zimmerman profiled Martin, an African-American, before confronting him.

Not indicted

Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., went on the defensive in March after a liberal-leaning blogger posted a false report that she would soon face indictment on tax fraud charges. Minutes after Palmetto Public Record blog editor Logan Smith posted the rumor it went viral, as reporters picked up the story without checking the facts. Haley's office tried to stop the negative press but not before The State, South Carolina's largest newspaper, issued a front-page story the next day. Haley extinguished the rumors by releasing an IRS letter proving there was no pending indictment.


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A second psychiatric evaluation concluded that confessed Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik, 33, is sane and able to stand trial for the murder of 77 people last July when he set off a car bomb in Oslo and went on a shooting spree at a youth camp. In an April 17 courtroom appearance, Breivik described the deaths as "the most spectacular sophisticated political act in Europe since the Second World War" and said he would do it again. Judges presiding at the 10-week trial will make a final decision on his sanity.


The FBI recently updated its top 10 most-wanted list, filling the spot Osama bin Laden occupied with a suspected child pornographer. Eric Justin Toth, 30, who once taught third grade at the elite Beauvoir-National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., heads a list that includes violent criminals, a money launderer, and a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel-but currently no terrorists. Since creating the list in 1950, the FBI has apprehended 465 of the 495 individuals listed.


A female suicide bomber walked into Somalia's newly reopened National Theater April 4 and blew herself up as dignitaries met to celebrate the first anniversary of the nation's TV station. The attack by al-Shabab terrorists killed at least 10 people, including the president of the Somali Olympic Committee and the leader of Somalia's soccer federation.


Thomas Kinkade, the self-described "Painter of Light," died April 6 at age 54. His idyllic paintings featuring gardens, cottages, landscapes, and religious imagery netted him an extensive fan base but also criticism from the art world. Over the last decade, Kinkade faced dark times, including allegations of business improprieties, a DUI charge, separation from his wife, financial troubles that led to his company filing for bankruptcy, and an alcoholic relapse that may have contributed to his death.


Veteran broadcast correspondent Mike Wallace, whose career with CBS' 60 Minutes spanned 38 seasons, died April 7 at age 93.


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