August 6th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Christine Romer

The head of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers will leave her post to return to teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. She will continue to serve as a member of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Romer co-authored the Obama administration's plan to recover from the 2008 recession. She was a huge supporter of health care reform and Obama’s stimulus plan. She is one of his principal economic advisers, and the two meet almost daily. Her resignation is effective September 3.

Romer had expressed an interest in returning to California once her son starts high school in the fall, Obama said in a statement.

"Christy Romer has provided extraordinary service to me and our country during a time of economic crisis and recovery," Obama said. "While Christy's family commitments require that she return home, I'm gratified that she will continue to offer her insights and advice as a member of my Economic Recovery Advisory Board."

Romer joined the Berkeley faculty in 1988 and was promoted  to full professor in 1993.

She is the second key economic adviser to leave the White House this summer. Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag announced his resignation in June.

BusinessWeek: Romer resigns in second departure for White House economy team

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin

The U.S. Army officer who has refused to deploy to Afghanistan until President Obama produces his birth certificate faces a court-martial hearing on Friday.

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who has served for 18 years, is scheduled to go before a judge in Virginia to enter a plea on charges that include disobeying a lawful order and dereliction of duty.

Lakin and other "birthers" believe the president was not born in the United States, and therefore can’t be commander-in-chief. 

Lakin said he intends to plead not guilty.

"The truth matters. The Constitution matters," Lakin said. "If President Obama is a natural born citizen, then the American people deserve to see proof, and if he is not, then I believe the orders in this case were illegal."

CNN: Hearing set for soldier in Obama birth certificate case

Jerry Hobbs

After five years in jail without bail, DNA evidence has exonerated the Illinois father in the stabbing deaths of his 8-year-old daughter Laura Hobbs and her 9-year-old friend, Krystal Tobias. The Lake County assistant state’s attorney has dropped all charges against him.

In May 2005 Hobbs found the girls’ bodies in a park and led police to them. He said police forced a confession from him after a 20-hour interrogation, even though DNA evidence found on Laura’s body didn’t match his. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty.

"The only thing they had gotten out of me was what they got out of a broken father," Hobbs said recently in the Chicago Tribune. "She was my baby girl. She was my joy and my pride, and to find her the way I did, it would knock anybody to their knees."

Last month, prosecutors said they made a DNA match to Jorge "George" Torrez, 21, who is from the Illinois town where the girls’ bodies were found. He is jailed in Virginia and charged with attacking three women there.

Chicago Tribune: Jerry Hobbs describes his five-year ordeal

Chicago Tribune: Virginia rape suspect linked to Zion murders

Ed Stafford

For more than two years, the British explorer has been walking along the Amazon River.

Stafford began his trek alone in April 2008 at the source of the river in Peru. Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera joined him in July 2008, and the two are expected to reach the end of their journey Monday along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

The two men have walked in 50-minute intervals with ten minute rest periods during the day. They have slept in mosquito-netted hammocks at night and relied on local water sources for hydration and hygiene. Aside from basic isolation, the dangers of the trip have included killer bees, snakes, anacondas and Amazonian crocodiles. Torrential rain, flooding, and the locals have also been a threat.

The men caught fish to supplement their staples of cassava root and coffee. Stafford says members of local tribes have been generous and have provided shelter and food. But they’ve encountered dangers, as well, including pit vipers, electric eels, anaconda, mosquitoes and scorpions

CNN: An Amazonian adventure: Walking the length of a very long river

Walking the Amazon website

Mary Hart

 After nearly three decades of hosting "Entertainment Tonight," Mary Hart has announced she will leave the program after its 30th season.

The New York Post says Hart has evolved from "America's sweetheart to pop-culture icon."

Hart, a former Miss South Dakota, joined the show in 1982.

New York Post: Mary Hart out at 'ET' after next season

New York Times: Mary Hart to leave 'Entertainment Tonight'

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Njoroge kiratu

    Truly intriguing people..thanks 2 cnn 4 the report

    August 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Derek

    It is all but guaranteed Romer is headed to San Fran to take over for Yellen at the Fed.

    August 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. M Garcia

    On LTC Lakin...This has nothing to do with President Obama. This officer does not want to deploy!! He has his "BS" twisted. O"B"ama didn't start this war, o"S"ama did!!!!!

    August 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    A fail economic recovery. She is telling her boss, you are on your own.

    August 6, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ken Krieger

    She lied for Obam, 95% of Americans get a tax cut. She told the truth once and he fired her. Now she goes to Berkly to lie to students. What a college. Double digit tuition increases. Look at the kind of people you hoir and the kind of citizens you turn out. Ken Krieger 239-283 7385 Cape Coral, Florida

    August 7, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ken Krieger

    She lied for Obam, 95% of Americans get a tax cut. She told the truth once and he fired her. Now she goes to Berkly to lie to students. What a college. Double digit tuition increases. Look at the kind of people you hire and the kind of citizens you turn out. Ken Krieger 239-283 7385 Cape Coral, Florida

    August 7, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |