National News from Yahoo

'Horrifically botched' Phoenix execution prompts death penalty outrage

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Lawyers for a double-murderer whose lethal injection in Arizona dragged on for two hours called for an outside review of the "horrifically botched execution" and prompted new calls on Thursday for the United States to abandon the death penalty. The ordeal in putting Joseph Wood to death on Wednesday at a prison facility southeast of Phoenix followed lethal injections that went awry this year in Ohio and Oklahoma, renewing the U.S. debate over capital punishment. Corrections officials said Wood was never in pain but Rob Freer, a U.S. researcher with human-rights group Amnesty International, asked, "How many more times do officials need to be reminded of the myth of the 'humane execution' before they give up on their experiment with judicial killing?" States that impose the death penalty have been scrambling to find new suppliers of chemical combinations to use in lethal injections after their former suppliers, primarily European drug makers, objected to having their products used to put people to death.


Court: Poland violated human rights in CIA case

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Europe's top human rights court ruled Thursday that Poland violated the rights of two terror suspects by allowing the CIA to secretly imprison them on Polish soil from 2002-2003 and facilitating the conditions under which they were subjected to torture.


Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed' in Mali

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali during a rainstorm, officials said. France deployed fighter jets to search for wreckage and the country's president said the plane most likely crashed.


As Iraq gets new president, blast kills 21

Iraqi officials say a double car bombing in central Baghdad has killed 21 people and wounded 33, hours after lawmakers elected the country's new president.


Ukrainian prime minister resigns amid MH17 chaos

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation Thursday, opening the way for new elections that would reflect the country's starkly changed political scene after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February.


Pope meets Sudanese woman sentenced to death

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison.


France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported, according to the plane's owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso.


Ukraine accused of targeting civilians in east

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — War literally came to Alexander Litvinenko's living room, when a missile punched a gaping hole into the wall of his ninth-floor apartment. The 53-year-old college philosophy teacher had just stepped into his study to check the news online, barely escaping death.

Israeli fire hits UN facility in Gaza; 7 dead, 150 injured

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza health officials say at least seven people were killed when Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip during clashes with Palestinian militants.


Iraq: Kurdish politician Massoum named president

BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum was named Iraq's new president on Thursday hours after an attack on a prison convoy killed dozens of people, brutally underscoring the challenges faced by the country's leaders as they struggle to form a new government.


'Isolated' Amazon tribe feared to have flu, which could be deadly

Advocates for indigenous tribes and Brazilian officials are worried that a group of people in the Amazon who had been living in isolation from the outside world may have contracted the flu — a potentially deadly disease that these individuals had never been exposed to before. On three separate occasions, they voluntarily made contact with Ashaninka people in the village of Simpatia, just across the border in western Brazil's Acre state, said Fiona Watson, a researcher and field director with the advocacy group Survival International, who spoke with Brazilian officials who went to the region. But representatives from Brazil's Indian Affairs Department, or FUNAI, noticed that the group of seven showed signs of influenza during their visit on June 30, Watson said.


Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of late Pleistocene fossils: The bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave.


Matt Bai: On Bush-era torture report, confrontation ahead

Sometime this summer, probably when as many Americans as possible are tanning on a beach and not paying attention, the White House is expected to release a version of a classified report on torture during the Bush years. Actually, what's likely to become public is only the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report.


More MH17 bodies return to Netherlands, EU mulls Russia sanctions

Dozens more bodies from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are set to arrive in the Netherlands, as the EU prepares to hit Russia with fresh sanctions. Foreign ministers from the 28-nation bloc said they would meet in Brussels Thursday to draw up a new list of Russian individuals and entities to be slapped with sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis. The European Union agreed to speed up the imposition of wider sanctions and examine tougher measures after the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down in strife-torn eastern Ukraine, allegedly by separatist rebels backed by neighbouring Russia.


2 planes with more crash victims to leave Ukraine

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of containers holding remains of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash were loaded aboard two military transports to go to the Netherlands Thursday on the second day of the airlift, while Australia's government dispatched 50 police officers to London to prepare to join a proposed U.N. team to secure the crash site.


Gaza fighting rages amid cease-fire efforts

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli tanks and warplanes bombarded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, as Hamas militants stuck to their demand for the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade amid U.S. efforts to reach a cease-fire.


Iraq: Attack on prisoner convoy kills 60 people

BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad on Thursday, setting off a gunbattle with troops in which 52 prisoners and eight soldiers were killed, officials said.

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