Retired pastor James (Jim) Carr, 60, died Aug. 20 after an unidentified assailant shot him while breaking into Carr's Greenville, N.C., home. Carr, who had ties with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, was also a volunteer for God's Love ministry in Winterville, N.C.
Tony Nicklinson, the paralyzed British man who had sought to overturn the nation's assisted suicide ban, died of pneumonia Aug. 22 at the age of 58. His death came just a week after Britain's High Court upheld the assisted suicide ban, saying changes to the law were a matter for Parliament to decide.
A NATO airstrike in Afghanistan on Aug. 24 killed a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban. Officials said the target, Mullah Dadullah, was reportedly involved with shuttling weapons and militants across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Pakistani police detained a Christian girl last month after a mob beat her Aug. 16 and accused her of violating blasphemy laws by burning a children's book used to teach the Quran. The villagers attacked Rimsha Masih, who is 14 and reportedly has Down syndrome, and then called on authorities to execute her. Fearing reprisals, other Christians in the community have fled while plans are underway to relocate Masih and her family when she is released from prison. The World Council of Churches says it will meet in Geneva Sept. 17-19 to take up her plight.
Dorsey Johns filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Illinois after a botched abortion claimed the life of her daughter Tonya Reaves, 24. The lawsuit, which seeks $120,000 and compensation for Reaves' toddler son, alleges that Planned Parenthood "carelessly performed" the second-trimester abortion on July 20 and failed to properly monitor Reaves afterward. Johns also names Northwestern Memorial Hospital in the lawsuit, alleging that medical staff failed to discover right away the abortion-inflicted uterine perforation, which caused Reaves to hemorrhage to death.
A humanitarian worker returned home to his pregnant wife Nancy in Springfield, Ore., last month after Sudanese authorities released him from prison, where they had beaten and tortured him on terrorism charges. At the time of his arrest Rudwan Dawod, 30, a Muslim and native Darfurian, was helping rebuild a South Sudan Catholic church damaged during recent church burnings. Dawod works with the Washington-based NGO Sudan Sunrise, the charity started by late NBA star Manute Bol, whom Dawod knew personally ("Heart enough to look back," July 17, 2010).
Besse Cooper, deemed the world's oldest person by Guinness World Records, celebrated her 116th birthday Aug. 26. The Georgia woman is one of only eight people confirmed to have reached the age of 116 in modern times. Her secret to longevity? "I mind my own business. And I don't eat junk food."