A U.S. District Court on Jan. 25 dismissed former Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus’ defamation suit against the Susan B. Anthony List, a leading pro-life organization. Driehaus sued SBA List in 2010 for “loss of livelihood” after the group ran ads about his support for taxpayer funded abortions through the Affordable Care Act. Driehaus lost his 2010 reelection bid in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, which is heavily pro-life.
The Netherlands’ popular Queen Beatrix announced Jan. 28 that she will step down from the throne at the end of April. The queen, 75, will abdicate her throne of 33 years to her son, Willem-Alexander, a 45-year-old father of three. Willem-Alexander will become the first Dutch king since 1890.
Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor from Boise, Idaho, was sentenced Jan. 27 to eight years in Iran’s infamous Evin Prison. Abedini, 32, has been in Iranian custody since September when officials arrested him on a visit to his native country. Authorities reneged on repeated promises to release Abedini, who has a wife and two children in the United States, and allowed the pastor to be present for only one day of his seven-day trial.
Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, 51, admitted on Jan. 30 to fathering a child out of wedlock in 2004 with a CBS production assistant. Marino, who has six children with his wife of 28 years, Claire, has been a CBS football commentator since 2003 and was part of the network’s Super Bowl coverage Feb. 4. He set many passing records during a 16-year player career with the Miami Dolphins.
Long-time pro-life advocate Michael Schwartz, 63, died Feb. 2 after a lengthy battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Schwartz was a lobbyist for Concerned Women for America and the House Family Caucus and spent the past 15 years in the office of Oklahoma Rep.-turned-Sen. Tom Coburn. Schwartz, a devout Catholic, received numerous awards from conservative groups for his efforts to stop abortion.
Ed Koch, the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, died Feb. 1 at 88. Koch served four terms in Congress but was best known as the man who saved the largest U.S. city from the brink of bankruptcy. Koch called himself a “liberal with sanity” and sometimes broke with his party to support Republicans, including former President George W. Bush and then-Republican New York City mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg.
British scientists announced Feb. 4 that skeletal remains found last August under a parking lot in central England are those of the long-lost King Richard III (1452-1485). Richard III, who ruled for only two years, was known as last of the Plantagenet Dynasty and the last English monarch to die in battle. Shakespeare wrote of Richard III as a ruthless villain, but discovery of the king’s remains has prompted many to re-examine his legacy.