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Intriguing people for December 4, 2009

By Jay Kernis, CNN
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin may consider running for president in 2012.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin may consider running for president in 2012.
  • Russian prime minister among today's most intriguing people
  • Detained human rights activist in Myanmar also on list
  • Climate scientist, noted science journalist and soccer coach round out Friday 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) -- Vladimir Putin

Last night, the Russian Prime Minister signaled to millions of TV viewers that he might consider running for the presidency in 2012. Putin, a former KGB spy, stepped down in 2008 after serving eight years as president, but he still remains one of Russia's most powerful leaders. The Russian constitution prohibits more than two consecutive terms.

CNN: Putin on retiring: 'Don't count on that'

Aung San Suu Kyi

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been detained in Myanmar for 14 of the past 20 years. In August, she was convicted of violating house arrest when an American, John William Yettaw, swam his way to her lakeside home, resulting in an 18-month extension of her detention. Today, Myanmar's military-ruled Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by the 64-year-old pro-democracy leader.

BBC: Appeal possible for Aung San Suu Kyi Aung San Suu Kyi biography

James Hansen

The head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- and one of the first scientists to warn the world about global warming -- says he hopes the forthcoming Copenhagen, Denmark, conference fails. Hansen told The Guardian newspaper he is concerned that what's being proposed so far puts the world on course for "disaster." He is particularly bothered by the idea of carbon market approaches that allow the buying and selling of permits to pollute. He says the situation calls for drastic action, not compromise.

The Guardian: Climate talks must fail, says top scientist

NASA: Hansen bio

Mariette DiChristina

The veteran science journalist has been named editor-in-chief of Scientific American. She becomes the first woman selected for the role and the eighth top editor in the 164-year history of the magazine.

Scientific American: DiChristina named editor-in-chief

Bob Bradley

The coach of the U.S. men's national soccer team finds out today who the U.S. will play in the opening round of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Under Bradley, who played soccer at Princeton, the U.S. won the 2007 Gold Cup and reached the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. The world is waiting

U.S. Soccer: Bob Bradley biography