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Arkansas judge halts eight state executions after drug supplier protests use of lethal drug for executions

© Reuters
Arizona Department of Corrections
As many as eight state executions scheduled to begin next week in rapid succession may not go ahead as planned, as Arkansas has been blocked from using a drug obtained from McKesson Corporation for lethal use.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued a temporary restraining order Friday preventing Arkansas from using the drug vecuronium bromide "until ordered otherwise by this Court,"according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, after the supplier told the court it was not sold to the state for executions.

The retail pharmaceutical distributor McKesson said in a statement Thursday night that it complained to the state about the plans to lethally inject the drug, and that Arkansas said it would return the drug. McKesson claims it issued a refund but never received its drug back, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

Syringe

America's deadly drug abuse epidemic rages on

The fact that the United States is losing its desperate battle against such deadly drugs as heroin and fentanyl has already been reported by various media sources, including prominent publications like Economist.

Last February, in his address to members of the US Congress, US President Donald Trump promised to put an end to America's "terrible drug epidemic." However, the goal of pulling the plug on the scourge of opioid abuse in America is looking more challenging by the day. To some extent, this challenge is being aggravated by the fact that drug abuse has been transformed into a form of business that has already become the fastest booming sector of the US economy. As for the government itself, they've been reluctant to take any decisive actions so far.

The fact that drug money are not just poisoning US business circles, but political ones as well, has recently manifested itself in the forced resignation of six US diplomats employed by the US Embassy in Afghanistan on grounds of possession of illegal drugs, Associated Press reports. Without a doubt, this will casts a dark shadow on every US official operating in Afghanistan, since there's ever increasing number of reports that America's "war on drugs" is only making the problem much, much worse.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the year 2015 alone more than 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, which translates into one death every ten minutes. Approximately 33,000 of these fatal overdoses—nearly two-thirds of them—were from opioids, including prescription painkillers, and heroin.

Comment: For more on the scope of this epidemic see:


Eye 1

Woman sentenced to three life terms after torturing granddaughter while dressed as a witch

© Ints Kalnins / Reuters
FILE PHOTO
An Oklahoma City woman has been sentenced to three consecutive life terms behind bars for physically abusing and scaring her seven-year-old granddaughter while dressed as a witch.

Fifty-one-year-old Geneva Robinson pleaded guilty to five counts of felony child abuse. She admitted to scratching the girl's neck, hitting her hand with a rolling pin, striking her in the face, and cutting her hair while she slept, the Oklahoman reports.

The girl was kicked, hit, whipped, burned and "repeatedly tortured," Assistant District Attorney Merydith Easter told the judge. The victim was also told that witches and creatures lived in the attic.

Boat

7 die in boat mishap, 136 missing


Dead bodies being evacuated after a boat mishap
No fewer than seven people have died and seven hospitalized in Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi when a boat carrying 150 passengers returning from Malali Market capsized along River Niger.

The Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in-charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, Alhaji Sulaiman Muhammad, confirmed this in Ngaski on Saturday.

Family

Homeschooled children in Buffalo, NY taken by government, returned to mother after two months

Back in early February, two elementary school aged children in New York were snatched by the government because their mother dared to opt to homeschool them.

Last November, Kiarre Harris withdrew her children from school because she felt they deserved a better education than the system could provide.

"I felt that the district was failing my children and that's when I made the decision to homeschool," she told WKBW.

Newspaper

8-limbed baby undergoes successful 3-stage surgery in India

© Money SHARMA / AFP
Iraqi mother Gufran Ali(L) gestures as she holds her eight month old son Karam during a press conference at a hospital in Noida on April 14, 2017.
An Iraqi baby boy born with eight limbs has successfully undergone surgery to bring him back to normal. Doctors removed his extra arms and legs, including those protruding from his stomach.

Surgeons at the Jaypee Hospital in the city of Noida completed a three-stage operation to remove the seven-month-old boy's extra limbs. The infant, named Karam, suffered from an extremely rare condition called polymelia, which affects one in a million infants.

Attention

Jeruselum: British woman stabbed to death by Palestinian on Good Friday

© Magen David Adom / Twitter
Hannah Bladon, a 21-year-old British exchange student was fatally stabbed in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, reportedly by a Palestinian man with a history of mental illness and sexual abuse, who had recently been released from a psychiatric facility. The suspect has been apprehended.

"Radical Islamic terrorism is striking world capitals. Regretfully, terrorism struck today in Israel's capital - Jerusalem," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement. "A Palestinian terrorist murdered in cold blood... a British citizen. In the name of all the People of Israel, I send my condolences to the family of the victim."

The incident took place on the city's light rail network. The attacker reportedly stood up from his seat, pulled out a knife and stabbed Bladon without warning.

The woman received wounds to her upper body and was initially in critical condition, Magen David Adom, an Israeli emergency services company, wrote on Twitter.

Bug

Scorpions on a plane!: Man is stung on United Airlines flight


Richard and Linda Bell
It's been a rough week for United Airlines.

The same day a passenger was infamously dragged off a United plane in Chicago, a man on a United flight from Houston to Calgary was allegedly stung by a scorpion.


The venomous creature fell from an overhead bin and landed on Richard Bell's hair as he was eating lunch Sunday in his business class seat, according to his wife Linda.

"My husband felt something in his hair. He grabbed it out of his hair and it fell onto his dinner table. As he was grabbing it by the tail it stung him," she told CNN. She said her husband shooed the scorpion off his tray and it landed in the aisle, catching the attention of a nearby passenger who cried, "Oh my god, that's a scorpion."

It's not clear how the scorpion got on the plane. The airplane had flown to Houston earlier in the day from Costa Costa Rica, according to FlightAware, a flight-tracking platform.

Footprints

Fearing Trump, migrants disappear from Mexican border

© John Moore/Getty
In the 35 years Gilda and Juan Francisco Loureiro have been running a shelter in northern Mexico for undocumented immigrants, they've never seen a week like this one.

The shelter, called Albergue San Juan Bosco, is perched on a steep hillside looking over the busy border town of Nogales, Mexico. Its walls are painted bright turquoise and tangerine, and its wide-open double doors look west over low hills and Highway 15. Since they opened it, upward of 1 million people have slept there on their way to the U.S. But on the day I visited, it was almost empty.

It didn't used to be this way, Gilda and Juan Francisco, known as Paco, explained. In the decades since they opened the space to give migrants a place to shower and sleep before crossing the border, the shelter—with separate rooms full of bunkbeds for men and women—would regularly house 100 migrants per night. Sometimes, that number would hit 300 or more, and Gilda and Paco would pull out thin mattresses to fit everyone on the floor.

But today, those mattresses are neatly stacked in a closet, untouched. And the shelter is almost empty—no women travelers, and fewer than a dozen men. That's despite the fact that April, with its mild weather, should be the busiest time of year for migrants. The place is all but dead. Gilda and Paco have never seen anything like it.

Bad Guys

2 Air Force members charged with sexually abusing 15yo runaway

© Google view
Two US airmen stationed in Delaware are being held on federal charges after paying $20 for a 15-year-old girl, sexually abusing her for months, possibly impregnating her, and taking pornographic photos and videos of her.

The two active airmen assigned to Dover Air Force Base, identified as Airman First Class Dalian Washington, 25, and Airman First Class Akeem Beazer, 21, were arrested on March 31. Both men were charged with sexual abuse of a minor, while Washington also faces one count of sex trafficking of a child, according to criminal complaints filed with the US District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, which were unsealed Friday.