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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race



A federal court on Aug. 8 sentenced Andrew J. Spieles, a Virginia college student, to a 100-day prison sentence for registering dead voters for Democrats. Spieles worked for Harrisonburg Votes, a group affiliated with the Democratic Party, during the 2016 election. His job was to register as many voters as he could. Last August, an employee from the Registrar’s Office in Harrisonburg called the police after he recognized the name of the dead father of a Virginia judge on a registration form. The office went back over their files and found 18 falsified voter registration forms. Authorities tracked down Spieles, and he admitted to faking the forms, using information from “walk sheets” the Virginia Democratic Party gave him.

Sven Creutzmann/Mambo Photo/Getty Images

The U.S. Embassy in Havana (Sven Creutzmann/Mambo Photo/Getty Images)


American diplomats in Cuba have been the victims of an “acoustic attack,” according to U.S. officials. The perpetrator left advanced sonic devices, operating outside the range of audible sound, inside and outside the homes of several U.S. diplomats in Havana. The affected employees have experienced a variety of physical symptoms since late 2016, resembling concussions. At least two have been left with such severe health problems they had to return to the United States for treatment, and some could have permanent hearing loss. The FBI is investigating the situation, along with Cuban officials.

Town of Pinedale

Neely (Town of Pinedale)


Judge Ruth Neely, punished for her religious beliefs by the Wyoming courts, is taking her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The former part-time magistrate had told reporters that for religious reasons she would refer same-sex couples seeking marriage to another magistrate. The Wyoming Supreme Court in March publicly censured Neely and forced her to give up her magistrate position. The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Neely, argued this was religious discrimination on the part of the state. Wyoming law allows magistrates to refer marriages for secular reasons.

Ravell Call/The Deseret News via AP Havana

Hamula (Ravell Call/The Deseret News via AP Havana)


For the first time in 28 years, the Mormon Church has excommunicated one of its leaders, sending him out of its community. Mormon officials confirmed that they removed James J. Hamula from a midlevel leadership council, but they did not say why. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah-based church has only said that Hamula did not commit apostasy.



Juries in the United Kingdom have convicted eighteen people—most of them Pakistani Muslims—who ran a child sex-grooming ring for years in the Newcastle area. In a case that spanned four different trials, 20 women testified to a cycle of abuse. They were teens, some as young as 14, when they were befriended and flattered by a man who invited them to a party. Once they were intoxicated with alcohol and drugs at the parties, the accused raped them, often repeatedly. Their abusers would promise more drugs and alcohol in return for sexual favors, and the teens became addicted and afraid to go to the police. An ongoing investigation has resulted in 461 arrests and 22 reported victims, according to the BBC.