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Dispatches Human Race

Bucs win second Super Bowl

(Ben Liebenberg via AP)


Despite occurring in the middle of a pandemic, something familiar happened at the Super Bowl on Feb. 7: Another Tom Brady–led team won the NFL’s title game. Brady, 43, threw three touchdown passes to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9. Brady further cemented his status as the most accomplished quarterback of all time with his seventh Super Bowl win. He also earned his fifth Super Bowl MVP award, making him the oldest ever. Brady beat himself for that record: He previously was the oldest Super Bowl MVP after taking the honor at age 39, when his former New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons four years ago. This Super Bowl victory earned the Buccaneers their second NFL title and their first in 18 years. The teams played in front of 22,000 socially distanced fans in Tampa, Fla.


Christopher Plummer, the award-winning actor who played Capt. Georg von Trapp in the film The Sound of Music, died Feb. 5 at age 91. He tried to get out of his leading role in the 1965 film “about 16 times.” He complained, “What have I done, playing with all these children?” He kept the part because 20th Century Fox threatened to sue him. He later referred to the film as “The Sound of Mucus.” At 82, Plummer became the oldest Academy Award winner for his supporting actor role in Beginners. He is one of 24 people to earn the Triple Crown of Acting: an Emmy, a Tony, and an Academy Award. A wife and daughter survive him.


George P. Shultz, a prominent economist who played a pivotal role in ending the Cold War, died Feb. 6 at age 100. He worked as treasury secretary, labor secretary, and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Richard Nixon. He later served more than six years as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state and negotiated the first treaty to downsize the Soviet Union’s ground-based nuclear weapons. He also successfully brokered an agreement between Israel and Lebanon during Lebanon’s civil war in the 1980s. Shultz received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1989. He is survived by his wife, five children, 11 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.


Military leaders in Myanmar, also known as Burma, arrested government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others on Feb. 1 in a coup. The military’s television station announced Commander-in-Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing had taken charge. Vice President Myint Swe, a former general who led a brutal 2007 crackdown on Buddhist monks, is acting president. The military declared a one-year state of emergency over “election fraud” in a November election that resulted in a landslide victory for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. The military has insisted the coup is legal, but world leaders—including the United States—have denounced it.