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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.
Fighting between Ukrainian troops and rebels raged Thursday near the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17, as countries which lost 298 citizens in the disaster moved to deploy their police to secure the impact zone. The Dutch team leading the crash probe was stuck in Kiev, unable to join a handful of international investigators at the rebel-controlled site. Meanwhile, Ukraine's army reported four soldiers killed over the last 24 hours in its offensive to retake the eastern industrial heartland from the pro-Russian insurgents. Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the crash site, just as the first bodies recovered from the fated flight were flown out to the Netherlands, which counts 193 citizens lost in the disaster.
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.
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.
By Anton Zverev DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - A powerful Ukrainian rebel leader has confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the type Washington says was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and it could have originated in Russia. In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday that the rebels did possess the BUK missile system and said it could have been sent back subsequently to remove proof of its presence. Before the Malaysian plane was shot down, rebels had boasted of obtaining the BUK missiles, which can shoot down airliners at cruising height.