Authorities in Pakistan dropped charges against the Muslim cleric suspected of framing Christian teenager Rimsha Masih for blasphemy after six out of eight witnesses withdrew their testimonies. In November of 2012, Khalid Chishti accused Masih of burning pages of the Muslim texts—an offense punishable by death—but the 14-year-old was acquitted amid evidence that Chishti planted the burned pages on her.
Former Disney star Miley Cyrus turned in an obscene dance performance at the Video Music Awards Aug. 25, finishing off her reputation as a good girl gone bad. Cyrus, 20, performed the song “We Don’t Stop”—including its reference to drug use—with Robin Thicke in what was seen as an attempt to save the VMA’s plummeting ratings. The Parents Television Council blasted MTV for “falsely manipulating the content rating” of an adult-only show and “continuing to sexually exploit young women.”
Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, died of cancer on Aug. 24 at age 80. Siebert started out as a trainee after she moved to New York in 1954. She later founded the brokerage firm that bears her name and went public in 1996 as Siebert Financial Corporation. Siebert, who never married and had no children, served from 1977 to 1982 as the first woman superintendent of banking for the state of New York.
Ireland's Seamus Heaney, 74, one of the world's best-known poets, died Aug. 30 at a hospital in Dublin. Heaney, who won the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature, had the rare ability to capture both critical acclaim and best-selling attention from the public. He was also a playwright, lecturer, and translator. Presidents, prime ministers and music stars, including the band U2, were among the roughly 1,000 mourners at Heaney's funeral.
The New England Patriots on Aug. 31 cut quarterback Tim Tebow from their roster. The move came as NFL teams trimmed their rosters to 53 players in advance of the new season. Tebow, an outspoken Christian, has been a lightning rod for criticism due to his very public faith. The former Heisman Trophy winner struggled in the preseason, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick would not rule out a Tebow return: “I don’t know what’s going to happen here in the year, but certainly we’ve had a lot of players who’ve left here and come back here.”
Veteran British broadcaster Sir David Frost, 74, died Aug. 31 on the Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship, where he was scheduled to speak. Frost, who became outspoken about his Christian faith in later life, interviewed nearly every U.S. president and British prime minister in office during a career that spanned more than 50 years. Frost is best remembered for his interviews with Richard Nixon, which induced a Nixon apology and prompted an Oscar-winning film titled Frost/Nixon.