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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race

Harold Hayes (Bob Pennell/The Medford Mail Tribune/AP)


Harold Hayes, the last witness of a secret World War II survival story, died Jan. 22 at the age of 94. In 1943, Hayes was part of a group of nurses, medics, and fliers who crash-landed in German-held Albania. The group began walking in the direction they thought was the Adriatic Sea, at least 150 miles away, relying on partisans for food, directions, and safety from German patrols. As the weeks slipped by and different rescue attempts failed, Hayes and his companions suffered from starvation and freezing cold. It took 63 days for them to reach Italy with the help of American and British agents. The story was classified for years to protect Albanians who had helped the group. After the war, Hayes became an aeronautical engineer and married, living long enough to see his nightmares fade.


60 minutes

Carolyn Bryant Donham (60 minutes)


A woman central to one of the biggest lynching trials of the civil rights era has admitted she lied in her testimony. In 1955, Emmett Till, 14, walked into a Mississippi store to buy bubble gum, and possibly whistled at the storeowner’s wife, Carolyn Bryant Donham. The woman was white, Till African-American. Furious, Donham’s husband and his half-brother abducted Till, beat him, and shot him. In court, an all-white jury acquitted them of murder. Donham also told the court a sensational story about Till’s verbal and physical advances toward her. But in an interview with author Timothy Tyson in his new book, The Blood of Emmett Till, Donham said her claims about Till’s supposed advances were “not true.” She told Tyson, “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.” 



Mathew Peters (JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)


A U.S. team has won the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s top culinary competition, for the first time in the competition’s three-decade history. Bocuse d’Or takes place in Lyon, France, every two years. This year’s U.S. team, led by head chef Mathew Peters, out-cooked 23 other countries for the gold medal. After a year of training, the team had two days of intense competition on Jan. 24 and 25 that included making an original meat platter and vegan dish in 5 hours and 35 minutes. The winning meat dish? An American version of “Poulet de Bresse aux Écrevisses,” or chicken with crayfish—complete with corn custard and toasted pistachios.


Eva Janzon

Ellinor Grimmark (Eva Janzon)


A pro-life Swedish midwife is taking her regional health authorities back to court over discrimination claims. Ellinor Grimmark refuses to perform abortions because of her Christian beliefs and consequently has been refused three different jobs by local clinics. She filed a discrimination case but lost in 2015 and was forced to pay the authorities’ legal costs. With the help of the U.S. legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, Grimmark has filed an appeal: Her lawyers argue that abortion is a small part of her job and that under the European Union’s definition of human rights she should have freedom of conscience in her vocation. A verdict is expected in a few weeks.



FSB security service headquarters (VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)


Sergei Mikhailov, a senior official in the Russian cyber intelligence department, was arrested in December and charged with treason, according to a Russian newspaper. American cyber experts believe the FSB, the agency where Mikhailov worked, was involved in last year’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Also detained: Ruslan Stoyanov, one of Russia’s top private-sector cyber-security experts. The arrests may reveal a connection between Russian security services and cybercrime—or could be a Russian gesture of goodwill to the United States after the American discovery of Russian cyberattacks.