Friday's intriguing people
December 31st, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Annie Lennox (pictured)

Singer Annie Lennox received an Order of the British Empire honor from Queen Elizabeth II for her charitable work.

Lennox was honored for her work fighting AIDS and poverty in Africa. She is one of 997 people named to the queen's annual New Year Honors List.

"As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I've done something terribly right or they've done something terribly wrong," Lennox quipped, according to the Scottish publication The Courier. (Lennox was born in Scotland and still lives there.)

Lennox has had numerous hit songs over the years with the Eurythmics and as a solo artist. Among them: "Sweet Dreams (are Made of This)," "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "Walking on Broken Glass." Her 2010 Christmas album has sold more than 1 million copies.

Tara VanDerveer

The last team to defeat the University of Connecticut women's basketball team became the latest Thursday when Tara VanDerveer's Stanford Cardinals stunned the Huskies 71-59.

It was sweet revenge for last spring's loss to UConn in the NCAA title game. UConn's last loss before its 90-game winning streak was to VanDerveer's Stanford team in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

VanDerveer has been a coach for 31 years, 24 of them at Stanford, where her teams have won two NCAA championships, made eight NCAA Final Four appearances, won 18 Pac-10 Conference titles and appeared in the NCAA Tournament 22 times.

According to her Stanford bio, she is a 10-time Pac-10 coach of the year and a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. She previously coached at Ohio State and Idaho. Her lifetime record is 802-197.

VanDerveer also coached the U.S. national team to 60 straight wins in the 1990s and won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

VanDerveer graduated from Indiana University in 1975 with a degree in sociology. She played guard for the Hoosiers for three years.

She plays piano, too.

Dilma Roussef

A left-wing guerrilla fighter during the military dictatorship of the 1960s will become the first woman president of Brazil on Saturday.

Dilma Rousseff previously served as energy minister and chief of staff to outgoing President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

"I think we'll see a different style from Lula and perhaps more of a focus on the domestic agenda, including the social policy agenda, anti-poverty - and, of course, the development of the new oil fields in Brazil will be a major portion of her presidency," said Jennifer McCoy, director of the Americas Program at the Atlanta-based Carter Center.

"My election is a milestone, not because I was elected, but because I represent a process in which Brazilian women are increasingly aware of their role," Rousseff told CNN En Espanol.

"The most important message that we can transmit to women is the affirmation that women can be presidents ... women have all the potential that men have. There's differences, but they are not unequal," she said.

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Filed under: Basketball • Brazil • Music • Queen Elizabeth II • Showbiz • Sports • United Kingdom
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Fred Bartkowski

    Oh no. The ever dreaded thread highjack.
    Happy new year to you termlimits.

    December 31, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. kuuipo

    Well what a bunch of great women who worked so hard to get where they are today! eat your heart out America!

    December 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. boomer

    I be lovin me some annie lennox!

    December 31, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |

    I picked Ronald McDonald.

    December 31, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. hiro

    too bad tara vanderveer didn't coach men's sports. then all those pedestrian accomplishments would mean something.

    December 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Big Joe

    @Fred Flinstone: What's a thread hijack? @kuuipo: hi

    January 1, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. kellen

    Oh yeah- hi kuuipo. (I know that's your favorite.)

    January 2, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |