Dispatches > Human Race
Saira Blair
Ric Dugan/The Herald-Mail/AP
Saira Blair

Human Race


Issue: "Day of reckoning," June 14, 2014


Saira Blair, a 17-year-old high school senior, on May 13 defeated an incumbent to become the Republican nominee for a West Virginia state House seat. Her father, state Sen. Craig Blair, offered her plenty of help during the campaign, but the teen won with less than $5,000 in campaign expenditures. Blair, who will not be able to vote until she turns 18 in July, ran as a pro-life, pro-family, pro–Second Amendment candidate and is favored to win in November. West Virginia is one of 18 states that allows persons under 21 to run for office. 


Authorities in Massachusetts on May 15 indicted former Pro Bowl NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, 24, in connection with a 2012 double homicide. Police believe Hernandez opened fire on a vehicle of strangers he had met at a Boston club on July 16, 2012. The shots killed two and injured one, and two men escaped unharmed. Hernandez, who played for the New England Patriots from 2010 to 2012, was already in jail awaiting trial for the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. The Patriots released Hernandez after his August 2013 arrest. 


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Conservative author, speaker, and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza on May 20 pleaded guilty to charges that he made straw donations to a 2012 U.S. Senate campaign. D’Souza, the former president of The King’s College in New York City, admitted he caused two close associates to contribute $10,000 with the understanding that he would reimburse them. D’Souza, who initially disputed the charges, faces 10 to 16 months in prison at his September sentencing. In the meantime, D’Souza is free to promote his new film, America


Ryan Hunter-Reay on May 25 became the first American since 2006 to win the Indianapolis 500, denying Brazilian Helio Castroneves a record-tying fourth Indy 500 win in the race’s final lap. Hunter-Reay, 33, used a series of high-risk moves to edge Castroneves by 0.060 seconds—the second-closest finish in the 98-year history of the race. Marco Andretti, 27, grandson of Mario Andretti, finished a close third.


Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman condemned to death for her Christian faith, gave birth May 27 to a healthy girl at a prison hospital in Omdurman. Ibrahim, 27, is married to an American citizen but has been detained with her 20-month-old son since February. A court in Khartoum convicted Ibrahim of apostasy in mid-May but delayed the execution two years to give her time to birth and nurse the child. Ibrahim’s lawyers have appealed the decision, and Sudan has come under international pressure to reverse the ruling.


Poet and author Maya Angelou died May 28 at the age of 86. Angelou was known for her poetry and her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Her background included stints as a singer, dancer, actress, and prostitute before she became a civil rights activist and a celebrated writer. Her work also drew sharp criticism, including from parents concerned about Caged Bird’s depiction of her experience of being raped as a child. She recited a poem at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993, and she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.


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