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Intriguing people for December 2, 2009

By Jay Kernis, CNN
Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky said she is skeptical about President Obama's planned troop increase in Afghanistan.
Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky said she is skeptical about President Obama's planned troop increase in Afghanistan.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Illinois representative breaking ranks with President Obama is one of today's intriguing people
  • South African president pledging to take HIV test is also on our list
  • Former GM CEO, Indian Health Services director, Florida State football coach round out list

Editor's note: Every weekday, CNN focuses on a handful of people in the news. This is a chance to find out more about what they've done -- good or bad -- what they've said, or what they believe, and why we think they're intriguing.

(CNN) -- Jan Schakowsky

The Democratic congresswoman from Illinois was one of President Obama's earliest and most ardent supporters. She served in the Illinois state legislature with him, and she supported his run for the U.S. Senate. But on the issue of a troop increase in Afghanistan, she said, "I'm very skeptical about that as a solution."

CNN: Obama ally breaks with him on Afghanistan

U.S. House of Representatives: About Jan Schakowsky

Jacob Zuma

The president of South Africa has pledged to speed up the delivery of drugs to treat AIDS and to help HIV-positive pregnant women. Mr. Zuma's predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, repeatedly said that he doubted that HIV causes AIDS. Zuma also pledged to take an HIV test -- a strong message in a country that has some 5.7 million HIV-positive people, the largest number in any country in the world. While on trial for rape three years ago (he was acquitted), Zuma admitted he had had sex with an HIV- positive woman without using a condom.

CNN: From prisoner to president

The World: New beginning in South Africa's AIDS battle

Fritz Henderson

In a surprise move, General Motors' chief executive resigned Tuesday, giving the battered government-owned automaker its third boss in less than a year. Henderson, who had worked at GM for 25 years, since graduating from business school, took over as CEO in March after Rick Wagoner was forced out by the Obama administration as part of GM's government-supervised restructuring.

CNNMoney: Henderson's GM departure is no surprise

Wall Street Journal: Meet Fritz Henderson

Yvette Roubideaux

Roubideaux, of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is Obama's director of the Indian Health Service. According to Dr. Roubideaux, "My first encounters with the health care system were as a patient in the Indian Health Service. The IHS is severely underfunded and understaffed, and I often waited four to six hours to see a doctor. As a teenager, I realized that I had never seen an American Indian physician." She completed her M.D. at Harvard Medical School in 1989 and received her M.P.H. at Harvard School of Public Health in 1997. The New York Times reports that the health care legislation that Congress is now debating includes the most significant improvements to the Indian health system in decades.

New York Times: New hopes on health care for American Indians

Indian Health Service: Director's corner

Bobby Bowden

One of the winningest coaches in the history of college football announced that his 34th season with Florida State University will be his last. Bowden, 80, said he will retire after the Seminoles' bowl game this winter.

SI: Bowden last of his kind

 
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