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US appalled by ‘barbaric’ stoning plan in Iran

The United States on Thursday urged Iran not to stone to death a woman convicted of adultery, calling the punishment “barbaric.” “Stoning as a means of execution is tantamount to torture. It’s barbaric and an abhorrent act,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. “We condemn in the strongest terms…

Iranian mother of two faces death by stoning over alleged adultery

A 42-year-old Afghan woman convicted of adultery in 2006 is set to be stoned to death shortly, according to human rights activists. Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, convicted of adultery, could be stoned to death under Iranian law. Iran’s penal code is extremely severe: in 2005, the country…

Pennsylvania widow lived with corpses of husband, sister

The 91-year-old widow lived by herself in a tumbledown house on a desolate country road. But she wasn’t alone, not really, not as long as she could visit her husband and twin sister. No matter they were already dead. Jean Stevens simply had their embalmed corpses dug up and stored…

Failure to plead guilty not grounds for death sentence: Court

An appeals court overturned Wednesday the death sentence of the convicted killer of two undercover New York police officers, saying prosecutors unfairly tried to influence the jury in the case. The federal Court of Appeals in New York upheld Ronell Wilson’s conviction for the 2003 murders but said the death…

Two Egyptian police officers charged with brutal death of blogger/activist

CAIRO — Two police officers were jailed on Wednesday for four days pending an investigation into the death of a 28-year-old man reportedly killed after they beat him to death, a security official said. “The prosecutor in (the northern city of Alexandria) has ordered the detention for four days of…

Racism still blights southern US juries: study

Having an “out of wedlock child” was enough to remove a black juror from a 1998 Mississippi murder trial involving an African-American and a white victim. Since then, nothing much has changed in the old south, a newly released study has said. When it was all over, Alvin Robinson was…

Obama vows to hold oil spill culprits accountable for all ‘death and destruction’

President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed to hold the culprits of the US oil disaster legally accountable, and promised to change the law if necessary to prevent history from repeating itself. Obama delivered the threat after meeting former senator Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency administrator William Reilly, who…

Pakistanis shout ‘Death to Facebook’, burn US flags

KARACHI — Pakistani protesters shouted “Death to Facebook”, “Death to America” and burnt US flags on Friday, venting growing anger over “sacrilegious” caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed on the Internet. A Facebook user organised an “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day” competition to promote “freedom of expression”, inspired by an American woman…

Researchers link lack of sleep to early death

People who get less than six hours sleep per night have an increased risk of dying prematurely, researchers said on Wednesday. Those who slumbered for less than that amount of time were 12 percent more likely to die early, though researchers also found a link between sleeping more than nine…

May Day surprise: Revolutionary Latin leader Simon Bolivar killed by arsenic, doctor claims

Arsenic helped kill Simon Bolivar, according to a Johns Hopkins doctor who is questioning the tuberculosis diagnosis given as the cause of the Latin liberator’s death in 1830. Doctors, not treachery, led Bolivar to take arsenic, however, said Dr. Paul Auwaerter, who presented his case Friday at an annual University…

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