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Theunis Bates, Harriet Barovick, Tim Kindseth, Nadia Mustafa, Clayton Neuman and Ishaan Tharoor

CASE DISMISSED. Against Elif Shafak, 35, best-selling novelist who faced charges of “insulting Turkishness”; due to a lack of evidence; in Istanbul. Shafak, whose book The Bastard of Istanbul deals with the legacy of Turkey’s 1915 Armenian genocide, was the first novelist to be prosecuted for allegedly violating a controversial law prohibiting criticism of state institutions.

CASE DISMISSED. Against Jacob Zuma, 64, former Deputy President of South Africa; after a High Court judge threw out corruption charges against him stemming from an arms deal in the 1990s; in Pietermaritzburg. The dismissal clears the way for Zuma, who earlier this year was acquitted of rape after a trial in which he admitted having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman, to run for the presidency when Thabo Mbeki steps down in 2009.

SENTENCED. Sajida al-Rishawi, 35, failed suicide bomber, together with six others who were tried in absentia; to death by hanging, for her role in an al-Qaeda-organized triple hotel bombing in Jordan last November; in Amman. The attacks left 60 dead, including several guests at a wedding party. Al-Rishawi had intended to take part in the attacks with her husband, but while his explosive belt detonated, hers failed.

EXECUTED. Fabianus Tibo, 60, Marinus Riwu, 48, and Dominggus da Silva, 42, Christian militants convicted of plotting the massacre of at least 70 Muslims on Sulawesi during sectarian violence on the Indonesian island in 1998-2000; in Poso, Indonesia. Rights groups criticized the trio’s 2001 conviction, claiming that Muslims had received lighter sentences for similar crimes, while the Vatican issued a plea for clemency last month. Christians rioted across eastern Indonesia following the executions.

DIED. Pham Xuan An, 79, Viet Cong colonel who worked during the Vietnam War as a highly respected journalist for TIME while spying for the communists—a double life kept secret until the mid-’80s; in Ho Chi Minh City. The first Vietnamese to become a staff correspondent for a U.S. news outlet, An said he was an “honest reporter” who did not spread misinformation. From his unique perch at TIME’s Saigon bureau, the popular, plugged-in An was able to achieve feats for both sides, alerting the Viet Cong to the impending buildup of U.S. troops in the mid-’60s and secretly arranging for the release of American journalist Robert Sam Anson, captured in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge.

DIED. Mickey Hargitay, 80, hunky Budapest-born athlete who rose to fame as a champion bodybuilder and actor whose films included Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, co-starring his then wife, screen siren Jayne Mansfield; in Los Angeles. In the mid-’50s the newly anointed Mr. Universe caught the eye of an aging Mae West, who hired him as one of eight loincloth-clad musclemen in her popular nightclub revue. He met Mansfield at a performance, where the impressed star is said to have told a waiter, “I’ll have a steak and the man on the left.”

DIED. Patricia Kennedy Lawford, 82, elegant member of the Kennedy political clan whose 1954 marriage to British actor Peter Lawford wedded her family to Hollywood; in New York City. Said to be the prettiest Kennedy sister, she was also the most independent—though her parents thought she lacked ambition. She worked in TV, wed the Rat Packer and settled into a California beach house later dubbed White House West because of J.F.K.’s regular visits. After moving back east—and divorcing Lawford in 1966—the mother of four published That Shining Hour, reminiscences of R.F.K., and later founded the National Committee for the Literary Arts.

DIED. Robert Earl Jones, 96, veteran actor of stage and screen who famously played Robert Redford’s con-man mentor in the Oscar-winning The Sting; in Englewood, New Jersey. The Mississippi native and onetime prizefighter lent his mellifluous voice and astute, low-key style to such Broadway shows as The Gospel at Colonus and All God’s Chillun Got Wings, and won acclaim in 1962 for the off-Broadway Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, which co-starred his son and fellow baritone, James Earl Jones.

297 Number of polio infections reported so far this year in India, up from 66 last year
67% Percentage of those cases occurring among Muslims. Health workers blame rumors that Western-manufactured polio vaccines are really birth-control drugs intended to reduce the Muslim birth rate

$3 billion Amount British tycoon and adventurer Sir Richard Branson has pledged to develop alternative energy sources over the next ten years
$1 billion Estimated annual U.S. government budget for renewable-energy research

2 million Number of tires Florida officials dumped into the Atlantic in 1972 to seed an artificial reef, which never formed. The loose tires are now damaging real coral reefs
$5 million Estimated cost of removing the tires, which is expected to begin in 2008

3.3 million Age, in years, of a girl’s skeleton—thought to be the oldest remains ever found of a child—recently unearthed in Ethiopia
150,000 Estimated number of years after the death of the child, nicknamed Lucy’s Baby, that Lucy, the most famous primitive human specimen, walked the earth

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