Dispatches > Human Race
Sushmita Banerjee
Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
Sushmita Banerjee

Human Race


Issue: "Bright or rotten idea?," Oct. 5, 2013


Afghan authorities believe Islamic militants shot and killed Sushmita Banerjee, 49, an Indian woman who made a dramatic escape from the Taliban in 1995. Banerjee, also known as Sayed Kamala, wrote a book about her life that became a bestseller in India and also a Bollywood movie. Banerjee had recently returned to Afghanistan after 18 years in India when several Muslim men allegedly dragged her out of her house and shot her. Police made six arrests in the case within a week of the Sept. 5 killing.


A judge issued matching 84-month prison sentences to Joe Wingo, 64, and his son, Andy, 40, owners of Angel Food Ministries, for money laundering. U.S. attorney Michael Moore said instead of using donor’s “generosity to fill the pantries of the people they claimed to be called to minister to, the Wingos filled their garage with a classic automobile, their hangar with a private plane, and their pockets with cash.” The judge ordered the two men to forfeit $3.9 million and sentenced Joe Wingo’s wife, Linda, to five years probation.


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Fox Sports Southwest fired football analyst Craig James for supporting traditional marriage. James, a former running back for Southern Methodist University and the New England Patriots, said he didn’t support same-sex marriage during his unsuccessful 2011 campaign for the U.S. Senate seat now held by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. James, who formerly worked for ABC, CBS, and ESPN, joined Fox Sports Southwest in August.


One of the most dangerous titles on earth may be that of the world’s oldest man: Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez died on Friday, Sept. 13, in New York after only a three-month reign. He was 112. Sanchez, who was born in Spain but moved to the United States nearly 100 years ago, attributed his long life to eating a banana every day. He leaves behind two children, seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. Japan’s Misao Okawa, 115, remains the world’s oldest woman.


Nina Davuluri, 24, became the first Indian-American to win the Miss America pageant when she took the honor on Sept. 15. Davuluri, the second straight Miss New York to win the title, thanked the organization for embracing diversity, but not everyone did: Some racist tweets sprinkled Twitter feeds after the announcement. The pageant’s runner-up was California’s Crystal Lee, a Chinese-American.


An Indian court sentenced four men to death for carrying out a gang rape of a 23-year-old nursing student in New Delhi last year. The fatal attack sparked outrage, demonstrations, demands for stronger rape laws in India, and calls for the four men, ages 19 to 28, to receive the death penalty. Judge Yogesh Khanna found the men guilty of murder, rape, and kidnapping, saying the crime “shocked the collective conscience” of the country. A fifth suspect committed suicide in his jail cell in March.


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