May 17th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Rima Fakih

The 26-year-old from Dearborn, Michigan, was crowned Miss USA on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pageant-watchers say Fakih, of Lebanese descent, is thought to be the first Arab-American and Muslim to wear the crown, The Detroit Free Press reports.

According to TIME magazine, Fakih was raised in New York, attended the University of Michigan and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in business administration. She won the Miss Michigan USA title in 2009. She told TIME, “I grew up watching pageants with my father, but never knew I can really do it. Possibly because I was picked on a lot in school, and had a very shy personality. I can proudly say that I don't think I would have reached so high and come such a long way had I not went through the pain I did growing up.”

Detroit Free Press: Detroit celebrates Miss USA's first Arab-American winner

Time: Miss Michigan USA Rima Fakih on serving others

Geno Auriemma

President Obama is scheduled to welcome the NCAA champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team to the White House on Monday. The president will honor the Huskies for their second straight NCAA Championship and back-to-back undefeated seasons.

According to the university, since Auriemma’s arrival as head coach in 1985, the Huskies have been transformed from a program with only one winning season into one with six national titles, 10 Final Fours, three perfect seasons in 1995, 2002, and 2009 - and 32 Big East titles. Auriemma, who moved from Italy to Pennsylvania with his parents at the age of 7, was elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He also has been named head coach of the U.S. National Team, which will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. Geno Auriemma bio

Paul Sacco

The father of a missing Greeley, Colorado, hiker says he is ready to travel to Nepal today on a mission to find his 23-year-old daughter. "I'm not coming back without her," Sacco told The Denver Post. "Dad's supposed to protect her, and here I am 12,000 miles away. It's crazy."

On Saturday, Aubrey Sacco was scheduled to take a flight from Nepal to Sri Lanka, where she was to spend the last week of her six-month trip. But the newspaper reports she was last heard from on  April 20 when she e-mailed about plans to hike alone through Nepal's Langtang trail. Nepalese government officials, the Nepalese army and the U.S. Embassy began searching the park's 52 miles of trails almost a week ago but have been unable to find her.

Denver Post: Father heading to Nepal to search for missing daughter, 23

Jonathan Alter

There’s still more to learn about the most covered individual in the country. Alter, the Newsweek columnist and historian, reveals new details in his book “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” which is scheduled to appear in bookstores on Tuesday. New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani writes that Alter “actually does give us a new perspective on the 44th president by providing a detailed look at his decision-making process on issues like health care and the Afghanistan war, and a keen sense of what it’s like to work in his White House, day by day.”

According to the newspaper, Alter reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was initially “too deferential to the president in meetings, just shy of obsequious”; that Defense Secretary Robert Gates, called “Yoda” by some White House staffers, was “almost certainly the most influential member of the cabinet”; and that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner bonded with the president because “they had the same ‘no drama’ style.” Obama reportedly read Alter’s 2006 book about FDR’s first 100 days before taking office.

New York Times: Penetrating the process of Obama's decisions

Zach Lipson

The Nashville, Tennessee, student is fulfilling his dream of being involved in the University of Kentucky basketball program. reports that Lipson has never played a minute of organized hoops. But he’s earned the position as a student manager on the Kentucky team. The senior at Christ Presbyterian Academy has overcome medical odds. He has a spinal deformity and will never be over 4 feet tall. Lipson told the website, "I want to tell people you don't have to fall and beat yourself up over your problems. You can take them and help them make you stronger. You can turn a losing situation into a winning situation." Perseverance pays off for student manager

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Glen

    There is no contradiction for a person of Arabic descent to call herself Lebanese. That is no different than for me, who is of German descent, to call myself American. And speaking a specific language has absolutely nothing to do with one's nationality. If it did, then most people in this country could not call themselves American-we'd need to call ourselves English. The arrogance and hypocrisy is not in people of Arabic descent calling themselves Lebanese, it is in people who unjustly and ignorantly criticize and denigrate others simply for being different than they are.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Plastichead

    I think it is interesting and NEWS that she is Arab and Muslim since I was under the impression that she would not be able to dress like THAT and enter the pagent. PLUS, the manner in which this year's USA pagent is being done–it's a bit raunchy (check out to the point that everyone's saying it's a little too much. So, it's a strange development indeed. I don't agree with the the person who made the comments regarding the girls naturalized state either–that would mean athletes would not be able to represent the US in the Olympics either (and California would lose its governor etc).

    May 17, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Lydia


      May 17, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. sidrock23

    haha!! for all u arab and muslim haters, how do you like these apples?? to all the tea baggers, red necks, klan members, bigots, racists, sara palin rush limbaugh, and glenn beck lovers, HOW DO YOU LIKE THESE APPLES??? haha, ONLY IN america, god bless this country!!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • RodentKing

      Only in America do they allow inferior minded people to make comments like yours.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Her reign only lasts for a year so don't get too excited. Besides I don't think most of America even cares or follows the Miss America Pageant anymore. I didn't see the show. They usually always have a bikini portion of the pageant. Since she's Muslim and must dress modestly did she have to wear a Burka instead of a bikini?

      May 17, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Big deal she won a pageant that a large majority of the people didn't even know that it was still around. In a couple of days no one will even remember whats her faces name and no one will really care. And we will not see ore hear of her on TV,news channels or anywhere else. she had her five minutes on stage and that was it. Also who can name last years winner? Probobaly no one seeeing this is a useless contest.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • david shows how far to the left we have gone and how long it will take to right this ship. 2012, it's coming and change will come at last, real change

      May 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jae

    Janey, wouldnt it be nice if they only crowned this to "whites" like they used to do the Presidency, Vice Presidency, Secretary of State-Defense, supreme Court, well lets see, what else can we complain about that changed in this country. Governors-Senators. OH, I forgot, if your rules were in place, non of the "Fore-Fathers" would have been "Fore-Fathers" Thats the hypocrisy. What is the big issue with Arabs? Why are you not outraged that there are people, I mean Militia's that are plotting against this country right now to kill police officers, gov't officials. They are terrorists too Janey. I know they are "White" but this time, they are not "Right". Open your eyes and mind, please. this kind of idea's are killing this country.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • RodentKing

      Why don't you then study Ebonics, there's a ghetto near you that would welcome you. Your talkling like your high, I hope when you crash you don't fall on your mouth.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dustin

    Congrats to Miss Fakih! Beautiful, educated, and certainly unique. I'd say it's about time the Miss USA Pageant moved in this direction and not judge contestants solely on physical beauty. And to all of the blatant bigots out there, she is an American, regardless of the origin of her parents or her ethnicity. What's the difference, that her family emigrated from Lebanon instead of Europe?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. jae

    waldorf and statler, man you almost convince me to become a republican and a "Grassroots" Tea Partier. The only reason why I cannot is because, I am not a racist, bigotted, self absorbing, hating, did I mention Racist person. Other than that, I love what you stand for.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • RodentKing

      Why don't you then study Ebonics, there's a ghetto near you that would welcome you.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      I love it when robots programmed by the Robert Byrd party of divide and conquer call others racists or hateful. It is you who supports and demands that people like Miss Oklahoma are discriminated against for their views.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • umad

      racist views should be discriminated against. That is a fact. Go cry yourselves to another country if you dont like it you anti-american traitor.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. rob

    americans need to get a life.. thinking they are all macho... get rid of the jewish influence and ill be a better country you know it i know it... and there i said it

    May 17, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Heem

      @rob Preach!

      May 17, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • RodentKing

      Why don't you go home and study Ebonics

      May 17, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      Mel gibson..hiding behind that fake name is so easy to expose you, whats the matter, you don't have any catholic young girls to chase down?

      May 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. elitesack

    Slap some curry on those teets

    May 17, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. Heilama

    Who says she is Muslim? Just because of descent? She may very well be a christian or nothing at all. If anyone here is going to make comments, please don't assume, it just goes to show how ignorant a person can be, afterall, we don't know anything about her, other than she is from Michigan and she won.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • ftb

      she has said that her family practices both Muslin and Christian traditions. She went to a Catholic high school.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      she's from Michigan via her birthplace Lebanon

      May 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jack

    so, won't the muslims have her killed now. They hate women, and especially when they show their bodies or do anything considered western.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      She is of Lebanese descent. Meaning they are in general more moderate Muslims. There is a Miss Lebanon pageant that is very closely watched in that country. The Lebanese take great pride in being good looking, cultured people.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. mh

    First we get a muslim president – now a muslim Miss USA. – This stinks!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Heilama

      Really, he is Muslim? I think only to white people he is.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • smdh


      I guess the only thing you can do is pack up and get the f out of our country, you bigoted moron. go find an all white, all christian country and hope they will accept you. good riddance.

      May 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • david

      well first we need to find out if obama is an american and then we need to start using his real name, since obama is not his birthname. HHHMMM an imposter?

      May 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kumar

    bums like you Janey, are good for nothing. Every thing should be reserved for natural born when it comes non-white or non-caucasian. The moment a non wite achieves something, you guys panic. All these immigrants pay taxes, so that your social security is maintained.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. sidrock23

    that's rights MH, the jews always controlled our country and now the muslims are moving in. that's what happens when people get educated, u don't like it, stay on your farms and trailer parks! lol

    May 17, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. RC

    Have you seen the bikini shot of her? Gorgeous body. It's a beauty contest, not a political discussion.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      I couldn't see her bikini behind that dam habbib and burkha

      May 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Randy

    I'm sure the tribal leaders in the middle east won't leak this story to their people – it's not as inspiring to their people and the anger they want them to feel towards us, as cartoons bearing the image of Mohammad with weapons.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
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