Top News Stories 2008-04-17 07:00:40

Front Page: Attack in Iraq, Lethal Injection, Ricin Arrest

  • Attack in Iraq: No fewer than 30 people have been killed and many more injured in a suicide attack on a crowd of mourners in Iraq. The attacker detonated his explosives at a funeral near the city of Baquba, north of the capital, Baghdad. Officials said the funeral was for two brothers said to be leading figures in the Sunni Awakening Council, who may have died fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq militants. The Sunni Awakening Council works alongside the Americans and Iraqi government to fight al-Qaeda-linked insurgents. More than 50 people were killed in another Baquba attack just two days ago.

  • Lethal Injection: The US Supreme Court voted 7-2 yesterday to reject prisoners' challenges to the lethal injection procedure in Kentucky. The justices upheld the method saying the state's use of a three-drug combination does not violate the Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Many states put their slate of executions on hold waiting for the court's ruling and are now rushing to assign execution dates. The decision may particularly help Nebraska after the state's Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that its only method, electrocution, was unconstitutional.
  • Ricin Arrest: The man who was sickened by the deadly toxin ricin in his Las Vegas motel room was arrested upon his release from a hospital yesterday and charged with possession of the substance. The federal indictment says the man enjoyed experimenting with production of the substance derived from castor beans, calling it "an exotic idea," but had no specific intention to use it against anyone. An FBI agent said, “based on the results of our investigation, we don’t believe that the public was ever in danger nor do we believe that this was any terrorist plot.” The man is expected to be arraigned this afternoon.
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