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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race

Ibrahim Yazdi (Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters/Newscom)


Ibrahim Yazdi, a leading Iranian dissident, died on Aug. 26 at age 85. Yazdi joined the National Resistance Movement in 1953 after a U.S.-supported military coup deposed Iran’s prime minister and installed the shah. The shah’s military court sentenced him to 10 years in prison, and Yazdi took shelter in the United States. He returned to Iran in 1979 as a prominent supporter of the revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. He became Khomeini’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister after the overthrow of the shah. Yazdi fell from favor during the Iranian hostage crisis when Khomeini, despite Yazdi’s disapproval, endorsed the takeover of the American Embassy. Yazdi left the country and died in western Turkey.

(Tristan Fortsch/KATU-TV via AP)


Oregon State Police contacted a teenager they suspect started the raging wildfire that merged with another fire and burned around 31,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge. They have made no arrests or formal charges, but the police are asking possible witnesses to come forward. Liz FitzGerald, who lives in Portland, says she met a group of teens on the trail on Sept. 2, around the time and place authorities say the fire began. One of the teens threw a smoke bomb into the woods. When she passed the place again, FitzGerald saw a cloud of smoke and smelled flames. She alerted the police, and they found the teen, whom they identified only as a 15-year-old from Vancouver, Wash. The teen is cooperating with the investigation.

(Elaine Thompson/AP)


Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, 62, resigned on Sept. 12 amid accusations from five men that he sexually molested them when they were boys. One of the men, Joseph Dyer, is Murray’s cousin, and he says Murray repeatedly molested him at his home in New Jersey in the 1970s. Some of the other men say Murray, a Democrat, paid them for sex when they were drug-addicted minors. Murray denies the accusations but said he was resigning in order not to “affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.” City Councilmember Bruce Harrell is the new interim mayor.



An Indian journalist and critic of Hindu nationalist politics, Gauri Lankesh, was found lying dead in a pool of blood on her doorstep in Bangalore on Sept. 5. Radical Hindu nationalists had previously threatened journalists like Lankesh with rape and assault, and authorities suspect they murdered her. Lankesh’s murder is not unique: Several outspoken government critics have been assassinated in recent years.


An Australian man who crashed his car in the outback on Aug. 30 survived after walking more than 62 miles for help. Thomas Mason, 21, was almost 100 miles from the nearest town on his way home from a job when his car hit a camel and became disabled. He said he knew he would die there if he did not make it back to the highway and find somebody. He spent two days walking through the desert and resorted to drinking his own urine. Three days after the crash, his parents realized he was missing and sent out a search party. Rescuers found him hours later, still almost 25 miles from the nearest town. Authorities treated him for exposure and dehydration but said Mason seemed to be cheerful.