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Saudi Arabia advertises for swordsmen as execution rate soars

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Saudi Arabia advertised vacancies for eight executioners Tuesday after beheading nearly as many people since the start of the year as it did in the whole of 2014.

The civil service ministry said that no qualifications were necessary and that applicants would be exempted from the usual entrance exams.

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It said that as well as beheadings, the successful candidates would be expected to carry out amputations ordered by the courts under the kingdom’s strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Amputation of one or both hands is a routine penalty for theft. Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death.

Most executions are carried out by beheading, but a few are carried out by firing squad, stoning or crucifixion.

All are carried out in public and video footage sometimes appears on the Internet despite a ban on filming.

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In January, gruesome footage was posted of a Burmese woman protesting her innocence before being beheaded by a swordsman on a public street in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Ignoring her screams, the white-robed executioner forces her to lie down on the ground, near a pedestrian crossing, then severs her head with a curved sword.

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The official Saudi Press Agency said that Layla bint Abdul Mutaleb Bassim had been sentenced to death for killing her husband’s six-year-old daughter.

The vacancies were advertised on the ministry’s website in the “religious jobs” section.

Last year, Saudi Arabia executed 87 people, according to an AFP tally, ranking it third in the world for use of the death penalty.

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Already this year, it has put 84 people to death in what human rights group Amnesty International has described as a “macrabre spike.”

The interior ministry says the death penalty is an important deterrent.

But on a visit to Riyadh this month, French President Francois Hollande said capital punishment “should be banned”.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘I’ve got nothing’: MSNBC conservative left speechless after he’s scolded for denying white privilege

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Republican political strategist Jason Johnson, a former adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), claimed on Sunday that he does not have "white privilege" because he grew up in a trailer park.

The angry remarks came during an MSNBC panel discussion about the role of racism in the White House.

MSNBC media analyst Eric Deggans argued that President Donald Trump and White House aide Stephen Miller are "trying to expand the definition of what we would turn acceptable discourse about issues that are connected to race."

"They want to narrow the definition of racism so that they’re able to talk about these policies and enact measures that normally saying five years ago or ten years ago we would have clearly consider racist," he pointed out. "If you look at the impact of their policies and the groups that years ago were advocated for these policies, you see their roots and prejudice and racism and you see why so many people of color are concerned about."

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Trump fans smacked down for whining the president is being called a ‘racist’ in righteous rant

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Addressing complaints from both White House officials and fans of Donald Trump that they are tired of hearing the president called a racist, "AM Joy" regular Tiffany Cross fired right back saying they better get used to it.

Following clips of White House adviser Stephen Miller attempting to explain the White House's policies on immigrants, the co-founder of The Beat DC stood up for labeling the president as a bogot.

"It's accurate, you have to call a thing a thing," she began. "I think that's part of the reason why we got here because in 2015, when he kicked off his campaign with a bunch of racist rhetoric, there was a hesitancy to call it out. And there was the first two years of his presidency when he introduced ridiculous white supremacist policies and would follow that up with additional racist rhetoric and we have an echo chamber of people repeating these things, so we have to call a thing a thing."

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Before Trump eyed Greenland: Here’s what happened last time the US bought a large chunk of the Arctic

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Editor’s note: Reports that President Donald Trump has urged aides to look into buying Greenland make us think of the last time the United States bought a major territory in the Arctic: the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. Two years ago, we asked William L. Iggiagruk Hensley, a visiting professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, to write about that historic sale.

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