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Saturday, May 08th

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South Carolina moves closer to allowing death by firing squad

SC moving closer to death by firing squad

South Carolina lawmakers have passed a bill to allow inmates on death row to be executed by firing squad in the absence of lethal injection drugs.

When signed into law, it will make South Carolina the fourth state in the country to offer the option as a method of capital punishment.

Opponents criticised the new measure as "medieval" but its supporters say it is about bringing closure to victims.

The southern state has not held an execution since 2011.

The legislation passed by the South Carolina House of Representatives aims to restart executions by bypassing the difficulties states face in procuring the drugs for a lethal injection cocktail.

It will go to the state's Senate for a final vote before heading to Republican Governor Henry McMaster, who has vowed to sign the bill "as soon as it gets to my desk".

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Fox News made me do it: Capitol attack suspect pulls ‘Foxitis’ defense

Fox News made me do it: Defense for rioter

The lawyer for a Delaware man charged over the Capitol attack in January is floating a unique defense: Fox News made him do it.

Anthony Antonio, who is facing five charges including violent entry, disorderly conduct and impeding law enforcement during civil disorder, fell prey to the persistent lies about the so-called “stolen election” being spread daily by Donald Trump and the rightwing network that served him, his attorney Joseph Hurley said during a video hearing on Thursday.

Antonio spent the six months before the riots mainlining Fox News while unemployed, Hurley said, likening the side effects of such a steady diet of misinformation to a mental health syndrome.

“Fox television played constantly,” he said. “He became hooked with what I call ‘Foxitis’ or ‘Foxmania’, and became interested in the political aspect and started believing what was being fed to him.”

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New York hedge fund founder Kamensky sentenced to prison in Neiman Marcus fraud

NY hedge fund founder sented to [rison for fraud

The New York hedge fund founder who predicted he might “go to jail” for corrupting the sale of some assets during the bankruptcy of Neiman Marcus was sentenced on Friday to six months in prison.

Daniel Kamensky, 48, of Roslyn, New York, had pleaded guilty in February to bankruptcy fraud for pressuring Jefferies Financial Group not to bid for securities belonging to the luxury retailer's creditors so his now-closed Marble Ridge Capital LP could buy them at a lower price.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said she found Kamensky "deeply remorseful," but said he "came undone" from the pressures of running Marble Ridge.

"He betrayed his profession, his duty to others, his relationships," she said. "He broke the law."

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U.S. hiring takes big step back; shortages of workers, raw materials blamed

US hiring takes big step backwards

U.S. job growth unexpectedly slowed in April, likely restrained by shortages of workers and raw materials as an economic recovery bolstered by rapidly improving public health and massive government aid fueled a boom in demand.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday, which showed a plunge in temporary help jobs - a harbinger for future hiring - as well as decreases in manufacturing, retail and courier services employment, could heat up the debate on generous unemployment benefits.

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Ohio Becomes The Latest State To Introduce A Major Voter Suppression Bill

Ohio introduces major voter suppression billRepublicans’ latest attack on the right to vote comes from Ohio, where state lawmakers introduced their first major voter suppression legislation on Thursday.

Like the bills just signed into law in Georgia and Florida, Ohio’s HB 294 makes its main target absentee voting and ballot drop boxes after those methods were widely used for the first time in Ohio for the November presidential election and helped increase nationwide voter turnout to record levels.

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29 people recovered from semitruck in Texas, police say

29 people recovered from semi in TexasMore than two dozen people were recovered from a big rig that was stopped near San Antonio, including one person who was taken to a hospital, a police official in Texas said.

A passerby called police Thursday to report a suspicious semitruck along Interstate 10, east of San Antonio, Lt. Jesse Salame told reporters. A San Antonio Park police officer initiated a traffic stop.

As the officer approached the vehicle, the back door swung open and several people ran out, Salame said. Authorities made contact with 29 of the people who had been in the semitruck.

One person was taken to the hospital to be treated for dehydration, San Antonio Fire Department spokesperson Joe Arrington said.

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Keisha Lance Bottoms exits Atlanta's mayoral race without ruling out political future

Keisha Lance Bottoms will not seek a second term as Atlanta mayor

Keisha Lance Bottoms said Friday morning that she would not seek a second term as Atlanta's mayor, citing the tumultuous last four years.

Bottoms alerted staffers and allies of her plans to exit the race on Thursday evening in a call first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. During a news conference at Atlanta’s City Hall on Friday, Bottoms held back tears as she called her term as mayor her “highest honor.”

“In the same way that it was very clear to me almost five years ago that I should run for mayor of Atlanta, it is abundantly clear to me today that it is time to pass the baton on to someone else,” Bottoms said in her remarks to reporters.

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Derek Chauvin, 3 other former Minneapolis police officers indicted on civil rights charges in George Floyd's death

Four officers face federal charges in Floyed murderA federal grand jury has indicted Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers for civil rights charges over the death of George Floyd.

The indictment, unsealed Friday, accuses Chauvin, 45, of violating Floyd's rights by pressing his left knee against Floyd's neck as he lied facedown on the ground, handcuffed and not resisting. Chauvin pinned Floyd for more than nine minutes, as Floyd gasped "I can't breathe," and even after he became unconscious.

Floyd's May 25, 2020 death, captured in a viral video, led to widespread calls for police reform and months of protests over police brutality against Black Americans.

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New Study Estimates More Than 900,000 People Have Died Of COVID-19 In U.S.

New study: 900,000 dead from Covid-19 in US

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures.

Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

The analysis comes from researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who looked at excess mortality from March 2020 through May 3, 2021, compared it with what would be expected in a typical nonpandemic year, then adjusted those figures to account for a handful of other pandemic-related factors.

The final count only estimates deaths "caused directly by the SARS-CoV-2 virus," according to the study's authors. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

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