Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch died Aug. 6 at the age of 68. Hamlisch, famous for scores such as The Way We Were, The Sting, and A Chorus Line, was 6 years old when he auditioned for the Juilliard School of Music and became at the time the youngest student in the elite institution's history. He is one of only 11 individuals considered an EGOT-a winner of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. Hamlisch also served as the principal pops conductor for several symphony orchestras, including in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Dallas.
Missionary couple Carrie, 34, and Gavin Jones, 35, are testifying to God's "mercy and love" following the successful delivery of their quintuplets Aug. 9 at Dallas' UT Southwestern Medical Center. The three boys and two girls, born at 27 weeks weighing between 1 lb. 12 oz. and 2 lbs. 11 oz., join brother Isaac, 8. The Joneses have worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea since 2007 and hope to return to their missionary work in the fall of 2013.
Ecuador says it will grant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum-but he'll have to find a way to get there first. Assange fled to the Latin American nation's embassy in London two months ago to avoid extradition to Sweden, where the former hacker faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. But the U.K. says it will not grant him safe passage to Ecuador, and British authorities are poised to arrest the Australian if he steps outside the embassy.
The nation's longest-serving female inmate emerged from behind bars Aug. 13 after a parole board approved her release. Betty Smithey, 69, had served 49 years for strangling a toddler to death in 1963. Smithey, whose first years in prison were marked by rebellion and four prison breaks, said she began to turn her life around after the child's mother wrote her a 1983 letter saying she forgave Smithey for the crime. "She made me feel that I wasn't a monster," Smithey said. "I felt if she could forgive me for taking her child's life, I could forgive myself. It was my responsibility to try to become a better person than I was."
Evangelist Billy Graham left a North Carolina hospital Aug. 14 after a two-day stay due to bronchitis. Graham, who was also hospitalized in November, had a quick recovery and according to his doctor Daniel Fertel is "remarkably healthy for a 93-year-old man.'
The U.S. State Department has added a senior al-Qaeda leader to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Azzam Abdullah Zureik Al Maulid Al Subhi, a Saudi also known as Mansur al Harbi, is reportedly working at a militant training camp in Afghanistan and has ties to other senior al-Qaeda leaders.