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. Oldfortman

    Yes she is good looking. But I still think her selection was "political correct" and not for being the best. If she is really Islam than she better have body guards night and day. Those extreme Islamist will be out to kill her for breaking their religious laws. I know the Catholic religion won't be out to get her for being in the pagent. She better watch out for Trump, I hear he is a dirty old man.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Why do we have to make a point of "Miss Arab American USA", "Miss African American USA". Seems like the press seems to have to make a point of this. Why can't it just be Miss USA. Seems like all this does is stir the pot of emotions for those people that know nothing about this only that she is of Arab descent. Does it really matter, really, other than she was the girl that won.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |

    I personally thought Maine or Virgina should have won. But Donald Trump is trying to be fair to all races, creeds, etc., and he should be awarded for that decision. I especially liked Virginia answer regarding tapping into alternative fuel choices.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • RodentKing

      How could you say it's fair for Trump to give the awards to different races etc. That's like Affirmitive Action where you have have to put a different race to work whether they quallify or not. So Trump is wrong in this case, the award should be given to whomever is best.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. jerry

    She won even though she stumbled? Don't know much about these things but isn't that a little odd? Yeah for a politically correct Miss USA.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |

    Regarding the law in Arizona, I agree if they are illegal, they are just illegal. They need to be sent back. They come here have babies, draw a check, etc., while some of us cannot get anything even when we lose our jobs due to NAFTA and other issues. Sad but true.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. Abou Dany

    To all those narrow-minded americans, when you start accept and respecting other cultures, the world will start accepting you. Now that RIMA FAKIH won MISS USA go clean your hearts of hatred and stop judging her. You are going to see her all over, on TV, new chanels, billboards, everywhere, so get used to it because only through her you will see the real natural beauty of the heart and soul.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. JoAnn

    I am of Lebanese decent, we are Christians, until relatively recently Christians ruled this country. Only Catholics and Orthodox were in charge, a moslem could only hold a third spot in the government and no further up. This is why Lebanese people do not consider themselves Arab. The official language used to be Aramaic, and only since the turn of the 20th century turned to Arabic. The true Lebanese people support the United States in all aspects, no one should profile or make a comment unless they know what they are talking about. Immigrants made this country...and she is legal. Go Home bigots!!! and stay home, oh yeah, and please tell me you are saying hateful things in the name of God....that is truely not acceptable....Jesus would never allow such hate.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Koula

      You are a cheap lebanese..what ur saying just show how cheap u r. My country UAE is full of Lebanese people who proudly call themselves Arabs..christians included.. You all are just after money. Official language Aramic my ass.. That was centuries ago..Where Arabic was only spoken in Currrently called "Saudi Arabia". Rest all spoke Aramic but who cares now. Iraqis spoke Aramic did Syrians and Palestinians..they say proudly that they are Arabs now cuz that what they speak..Egyptian were Pharos..Now they are Arabs...Cus it's now what matters not some thousand yrs ago!!!
      Lebanese speak Arabic and are the best in speaking Classic Arabic in the whole Middle East. You make Lebanese ashamed..shame on you.

      May 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kirk

    CNN, you are a bunch are retards. She is an American. That is all. Stop spinning this into a debate.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Roxana

    The lady is very lovely but I can't help wondering if it was her nation of origin that got her the crown. The same kind of people who voted for Obama because having a 'black' president was cool may have thought a Muslim Miss America was a statement that needed to be made.

    Nobody seems to be considering the possibility that Miss Fakih may now be in danger from her violent co-religionists. Honor killings are after all a way of life in her 'culture'.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Abou Dany

    and if you still can't live with this, go to order a hookah from and keep puffing until it sinks in.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Moe Hamhead

    A lot of nice looking stuff under that burka!

    May 17, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Congrats, to this beautiful young lady for winning Miss America. It shouldn't matter what race or culture she is from. I wish her good luck in the coming year. She earned the crown and now she get to represent her country wearing the crown with American pride. This is another example of what makes America great.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. sage

    I am going to be totally un PC...... I dont want a muslim to represent USA. Sorry just the way I feel about it

    May 17, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    I just think calling her Arab-Michigan is promoting racism as always. I could be mistaken but I don’t remember any race being stamped on miss USA before and why would it since we are all from around the globe everywhere. I don’t think of myself in terms of where my great grandfather came from, I am a USA Citizen. It is a shame that they have to put labels on anyone and promote racism

    May 17, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    That's one woman that it will be hard to show up in any but her swim suit and no less.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      I'm waiting for Hugh Hefner to get her in playboy centerfold, tastefully of course

      May 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
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