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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race

Pebble Island (Pete Oxford/Danita Delimont Photography/Newscom)

Offered

One of the Falkland Islands is up for sale. Pebble Island has been under private ownership since 1869 when the Dean family bought it and some neighboring islands for 400 British pounds. The Falklands, though located near Argentina, are a British overseas territory. Sam Harris, the great-great-grandson of the buyer, told the BBC that the island produces a great deal of wool but has become hard to manage. The family would like to sell to someone who is interested in farming, but they say the island has much more to offer. Pebble Island has five different species of penguins, 42 species of birds, sea lions, a 4-mile beach, and a historical site from the Falklands War.


 

Star Max/AP

Kevin Spacey (Star Max/AP)

Charged

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is facing a charge of indecent assault and battery over an alleged 2016 incident involving an 18-year-old busboy in a Nantucket, Mass., restaurant. If convicted, the sentence for Spacey, 59, could include up to five years in prison. Authorities in Los Angeles are investigating another alleged assault by Spacey in 2016. Spacey lost the role of Frank Underwood on the HBO series House of Cards in 2017 when accusations of sexual assault against the actor first surfaced. On Dec. 24, Spacey posted a YouTube video in which he portrayed the Underwood character. “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do,” Spacey as Underwood said, adding, “Soon enough, you will know the full truth.”


Scott Olson/Getty Images

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Offered

A hedge fund operated by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert made a $4.4 billion bid to save Sears Holdings from liquidation. The offer came on Dec. 28—the deadline for bids—and a bankruptcy court must approve the bid for it to go forward. Lampert, the company’s largest creditor, reportedly hopes to keep 425 stores open and 50,000 employees on the job. The retailing giant was founded in 1893 and had 68,000 employees when it filed for bankruptcy in October. It plans to close 80 Sears and Kmart stores by the end of March.


UGC via AP

UGC via AP

Survived

Rescuers say a 12-year-old boy survived 40 minutes under a mass of snow in the French Alps after an avalanche swept him about 110 yards away and buried him during a family ski trip. The boy did not have an avalanche beacon with him, but local police used a dog to sniff out his location. Rescuers say survival after 15 minutes buried in snow is rare. “We can call it a miracle,” Capt. Patrice Ribes told the New York Post. “A day after Christmas, there was another gift in store.”


Protected

A Colorado federal judge overruled the Obama-era mandate requiring religious organizations to include sterilization drugs and contraception in the insurance given their employees. Three religious colleges and three religious organizations, including Samaritan Ministries International and the Alliance Defending Freedom, brought the case before Judge Philip Brimmer. They requested a permanent injunction preventing the government from forcing them to include the drugs in their healthcare plans. Brimmer said in his ruling that the groups expressed “sincerely held religious beliefs” and that forcing them to comply would violate their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


Demoted

The pope has removed two cardinals from his inner circle of advisers after they faced allegations linked to sexual abuse. Australia’s George Pell and Chile’s Francisco Javier Errazuriz have been demoted, according to a Vatican spokesperson. Pell, who works as the Vatican treasurer, is currently on trial for sexual abuse in his home country. He denies all charges. Errazuriz is under accusations of covering up child abuse when he served as archbishop in Santiago. He also denies the claim. The two were part of the pope’s advisory council, the C9. So far, there appear to be no plans to replace them.