Doctors announced March 3 that a baby has been cured of HIV for the first time. The Mississippi infant began receiving antiviral treatment within 30 hours of birth, an unusual technique likely to be recommended globally. The 2-year-old child has remained healthy after remaining off of all medications for one year.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell restored the voting rights of Lewis “Scooter” Libby in time for the 2012 elections, according to a Feb. 23 state report on pardons. Libby, who was chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted in 2007 of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements. He was one of more than 1,000 nonviolent felons for whom McDonnell restored voting rights last year.
Controversial Pakistani actress Veena Malik on Feb. 27 broke the Guinness World Record for receiving the most kisses in one minute. in rapid succession, 137 male fans lined up to kiss her hand. Malik, 29, nicknamed “The Drama Queen,” admitted the record was a stunt to promote her upcoming film.
Romanian gangster Ion Balint had four lions and two bears removed from his home on Feb. 27 after authorities indicted him for leading a gang in Bucharest. Officials have not confirmed accusations that Balint, known as “Nutzu the Pawnbroker,” used the animals to intimidate or threaten people. His neighbors said the man simply loved animals.
Pianist Van Cliburn, 78, died Feb. 27 in Fort Worth after a battle with bone cancer. Time called Cliburn “The Texan who conquered Russia” in a 1958 cover story after the 23-year-old won the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Cliburn received a ticker-tape parade in New York City and went on to enjoy a lucrative career.
Legendary Chicago jazz artist Magic Slim, 75, died Feb. 21. Slim, raised by Mississippi sharecroppers, took up guitar after he lost a finger in a farming accident and could no longer play the piano. He was among the last in a line of Deep South blues musicians to find success in the Windy City, and toured internationally with his band, the “Teardrops.”
The Cook County coroner’s office in Illinois announced March 1 that lottery winner Urooj Khan, 46, was the victim of cyanide poisoning. Khan, an Indian immigrant, was found dead last July, a month after winning a $1 million jackpot and days before he was to collect his winnings. The death was first attributed to natural causes, but authorities ruled it a homicide after Khan’s body was exhumed in January for further testing.
Military commanders from Chad aligned with the French offensive in Mali say they killed in a March 2 assault Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the leader of al-Qaeda’s north African wing, known as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Called “The Uncatchable,” the one-eyed terrorist leader topped international most-wanted lists since he led the January raid on an Algerian natural gas plant that claimed the lives of at least 38 employees, including three Americans.
Authorities in Chad announced on March 1 the killing of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, the commander of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s Mali wing.