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U.S. judge blocks sale of controversial execution drug to Missouri

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A U.S. judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a pharmacy from providing a compound execution drug to Missouri jailers to use in the February 26 lethal injection of Michael Taylor, guilty in the death of a 15-year-old girl.

Missouri and several other U.S. states that have the death penalty have increasingly been forced to look for alternate drugs and sources of drugs for executions as pharmaceutical companies have raised objections to their products being used in capital punishment.

Some states have turned to so-called compounding pharmacies, which produce small amounts of drugs by prescription and are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, prompting defense attorneys to question the quality of the drugs and whether they could cause undue pain during an execution.

U.S. District Court Judge Terence Kern on Wednesday afternoon granted a temporary restraining order preventing one such pharmacy, The Apothecary Shoppe, from supplying compounded pentobarbital to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

The order came after Taylor’s attorneys argued in a federal lawsuit filed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week that he could suffer “severe, unnecessary, lingering and ultimately inhumane pain” if the drug is used.

“This is not an acceptable method for carrying out executions – to use an unlawful and dangerous drug – so we are hoping to stop that from happening,” Matthew Hellman, one of Taylor’s defense attorneys, told Reuters late on Wednesday.

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The state has used compounded pentobarbital, a fast-acting barbiturate, in its recent executions.

The lawsuit sought a restraining order as well as an injunction preventing the pharmacy from delivering the drug for Taylor’s execution, Hellman said.

It was unclear whether the pharmacy had already delivered the drug. An evidentiary hearing was set for Tuesday.

The increasing use of in some cases untested compounded drugs has revived the debate over the death penalty in the United States.

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In Oklahoma, an inmate said he felt burning through his body when the drugs used to kill him were injected during an execution in early January. Taylor’s attorneys cited the Oklahoma case in their lawsuit, Hellman said.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Right-wing radio show ratings tank as host undermines Trump’s ‘promises made, promises kept’ re-election slogan

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The fact Donald Trump's base sticks with him no matter what he does is negatively impacting a conservative radio host attempting to hold the president accountable for his campaign promises.

Michael Alan Weiner, who goes by the stage name Michael Savage, hosts the "Savage Nation" radio show.

The host once praised Trump as the "Winston Churchill of our time" has been criticizing the president recently, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

"Now Mr. Savage is an outlier once again, dismayed more each day as the budget deficit continues to swell, thousands of new migrants are apprehended at the border, and the wall Mr. Trump promised to erect and make Mexico pay for remains unbuilt," The Times explained.

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LISTEN: Here’s the creepy broadcast at Trump’s rally telling supporters the right way to deal with protesters

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 re-election campaign in Orlando, Florida.

Those who entered the venue were treated to a pleasant female voice booming out instructions to protestors — and a creepy warning.

"While we all have the rights to free speech, this is a private event paid for and hosted by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and you came to hear the president," said the voice. "To accommodate the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, while ensuring an orderly rally, we have provided a secure area outside the venue for all protesters, and we ask anyone wishing to demonstrate to please exit to that secure area."

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Trump had two goals in ramping up pressure on Iran — and he’s failing at both: CNN

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he doesn't want war with Iran, which would likely put him at odds with his more bellicose advisers like John Bolton.

That being said, the president clearly believes he can bully Iran into unconditional submission to whatever the United States demands. And Iran is having none of it, escalating its own acts of maritime aggression and proclaiming they have missile technology capable of striking U.S. aircraft carriers.

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