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US to resume federal executions after 17 years and will put to death four men

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us to resume federal executions after 17 years and will put to death four men

Four death-row inmates, including a white supremacist, have been scheduled for execution by the Justice Department, and will be the first prisoners to be put to death since 2003.

The Justice Department set new dates for executing the four men starting in mid-July following a months-long legal battle that held back the plan. 

The inmates who will be executed include among them Daniel Lewis Lee, 48, an avowed white supremacist, convicted for the 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl in Arkansas.

Wesley Ira Purkey, 68, of Kansas, will be executed for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl and an 80-year-old woman. A third man scheduled for death is Dustin Lee Honken, 52, who killed five people in Iowa, including two children. 

Also to be executed is Keith Dwayne Nelson, 45, who kidnapped a 10-year-old girl who was rollerblading in front of her Kansas home and raped her in a forest behind a church before strangling the young girl to death with a wire.

Daniel Lewis Lee, 47-year-old avowed white supremacist, was scheduled to be put to death on Monday for the 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl in Arkansas

Daniel Lewis Lee, 47-year-old avowed white supremacist, was scheduled to be put to death on Monday for the 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl in Arkansas

Daniel Lewis Lee, 47-year-old avowed white supremacist, was scheduled to be put to death on Monday for the 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl in Arkansas

Lee, Purkley and Honken – are scheduled days apart beginning July 13. Nelson’s execution is scheduled for Aug. 28. The Justice Department said additional executions will be set at a later date. 

The order to the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the four inmates to death comes from Attorney General William Barr. 

Three had been scheduled to be put to death when Barr announced the federal government would resume executions last year, ending an informal moratorium on federal capital punishment as the issue receded from the public domain. 

Executions on the federal level have been rare and the government has put to death only three defendants since restoring the federal death penalty in 1988. The last came in 2003, when Louis Jones was executed for the 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of a young female soldier. 

Though there hasn’t been a federal execution in about 17 years, the Justice Department has continued to approve death penalty prosecutions and federal courts have sentenced defendants to death. 

In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, President Barack Obama directed the Justice Department to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs. 

The attorney general said last July that the Obama-era review had been completed, clearing the way for executions to resume. 

The order to the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the four inmates to death comes from Attorney General William Barr. Barr is pictured at the White House on Monday

The order to the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the four inmates to death comes from Attorney General William Barr. Barr is pictured at the White House on Monday

The order to the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the four inmates to death comes from Attorney General William Barr. Barr is pictured at the White House on Monday

He approved a new procedure for lethal injections that replaces the three-drug combination previously used in federal executions with one drug, pentobarbital. This is similar to the procedure used in several states, including Georgia, Missouri and Texas, but not all.

Barr told the AP in November that the federal Bureau of Prisons had been testing and conducting practice drills ahead of the first execution. He would not say where the drugs would come from.

Those chosen were among inmates who had exhausted their appeals, and the cases were forwarded to senior Justice Department officials who reviewed the cases and made recommendations to him, Barr said.

President Donald Trump has spoken often about capital punishment and his belief that executions serve as an effective deterrent and an appropriate punishment for some crimes, including mass shootings and the killings of police officers.   

President Donald Trump has spoken about capital punishment and his belief that executions serve as an effective deterrent and appropriate punishment for some crimes, including mass shootings and police officers killings. He is pictured at the White House Monday

President Donald Trump has spoken about capital punishment and his belief that executions serve as an effective deterrent and appropriate punishment for some crimes, including mass shootings and police officers killings. He is pictured at the White House Monday

President Donald Trump has spoken about capital punishment and his belief that executions serve as an effective deterrent and appropriate punishment for some crimes, including mass shootings and police officers killings. He is pictured at the White House Monday

Lawyers for the men decried the Justice Department’s decision to move ahead with the executions.

Ruth Friedman, an attorney for Lee, said the government relied on ‘junk science and false evidence’ in his case and said he is trying to get a court to consider problems in his prosecution. A federal judge denied Lee´s request for a new trial but noted that evidence presented by his attorneys ‘is reasonably likely’ to have led to a different sentence.

‘Given all of these circumstances, it would be unconscionable for the government to execute Danny Lee,’ Friedman said. 

A federal judge denied Lee´s request for a new trial but noted that evidence presented by his attorneys 'is reasonably likely' to have led to a different sentence

A federal judge denied Lee´s request for a new trial but noted that evidence presented by his attorneys 'is reasonably likely' to have led to a different sentence

A federal judge denied Lee´s request for a new trial but noted that evidence presented by his attorneys ‘is reasonably likely’ to have led to a different sentence

Lee was condemned to death by a federal jury in 1999 for the murders of Bill Mueller, his wife Nancy, and Nancy’s daughter, Sarah Powell.

Nancy’s mother Earlene Peterson, opposes Lee’s execution due to her religious convictions and appealed to Trump to grant Lee clemency. 

‘I can’t see how executing Daniel Lee will honor my daughter in any way,’ said Peterson, mother of Nancy and grandmother of Sarah, in a video posted online.

‘In fact, kind of like it dirties her name because she wouldn’t want it and I don’t want it.’

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21933840 7766345 image m 17 1575702707532

The mother of Nancy Mueller, Earlene Peterson, is opposed to Lee’s execution

Lee was condemned to death by a federal jury in 1999 for the murders of Bill Mueller, his wife Nancy (right), and Nancy's daughter, Sarah Powell (left)

Lee was condemned to death by a federal jury in 1999 for the murders of Bill Mueller, his wife Nancy (right), and Nancy's daughter, Sarah Powell (left)

Lee was condemned to death by a federal jury in 1999 for the murders of Bill Mueller, his wife Nancy (right), and Nancy’s daughter, Sarah Powell (left)

Purkey’s attorney, Rebecca Woodman, said her client suffers from schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and doesn’t understand why the government plans to execute him. ‘No execution should proceed unless and until the question of Wes’s competency is resolved,’ she said.

The death-row inmate was convicted on December 13, 2019 for the rape, murder and dismemberment of 16-year-old Jennifer Long in his Kansas home in 1998. 

He was also convicted of beating 80-year-old Mary Bales to death with a hammer. 

Purkey (pictured before his conviction) suffers from schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and dementia and doesn't understand why the government plans to execute him, says his attorney

Purkey (pictured before his conviction) suffers from schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and dementia and doesn't understand why the government plans to execute him, says his attorney

Purkey (pictured before his conviction) suffers from schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and doesn’t understand why the government plans to execute him, says his attorney

Purkey was convicted on December 13, 2019 for the rape, murder and dismemberment of 16-year-old Jennifer Long in his Kansas home in 1998

Purkey was convicted on December 13, 2019 for the rape, murder and dismemberment of 16-year-old Jennifer Long in his Kansas home in 1998

Purkey was convicted on December 13, 2019 for the rape, murder and dismemberment of 16-year-old Jennifer Long in his Kansas home in 1998

An attorney for Honken, Shawn Nolan, said Honken’s trial and sentencing proceeding were ‘plagued by misconduct and the ineffectiveness of counsel’ and said he was been denied a full and fair review of the alleged defects in the case. 

Nolan was convicted after he shot and killed five people—two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters. 

Nolan described Honken as a ‘deeply remorseful and devout Catholic and loving father of two children.’ 

Nolan was convicted after he shot and killed five people¿two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters

Nolan was convicted after he shot and killed five people¿two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters

Nolan was convicted after he shot and killed five people—two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters

An attorney for Nelson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. 

Nelson was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Pamela Butler in 1999. He had kidnapped Pamela as she roller-skated near her home in Kansas City, Kansas, stuffed her into the cab of a pickup truck, drove east into Missouri and stopped in the parking lot of a Grain Valley church. 

He then dragged her into a densely wooded area, beat her and strangled her with speaker wire. He was arrested two days later on the bank of the Kansas River.  

The executions of four death row inmates will take place at the Federal Correctional Complex Terre Haute in Terre Haute, Indiana

The executions of four death row inmates will take place at the Federal Correctional Complex Terre Haute in Terre Haute, Indiana

The executions of four death row inmates will take place at the Federal Correctional Complex Terre Haute in Terre Haute, Indiana

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Dyson engineer wins unfair dismissal claim after manager told her ‘I don’t like Muslims’ 

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dyson engineer wins unfair dismissal claim after manager told her i dont like muslims

An engineer who helped develop Sir Richard Dyson’s electric car has won a religious discrimination and unfair dismissal claim against the company after her manager told her ‘I don’t like Muslims’.

Zeinab Alipourbabaie, 39, told an employment tribunal that senior technical project manager Kamaljit Chana also said: ‘Muslims are violent’ and ‘Pakistani men are grooming our girls.’

Ms Alipourbabaie worked at Dydon in Wiltshire for four years but resigned in 2018 after months of harassment and discrimination by Mr Chana, according to the Times

Zeinab Alipourbabaie

Zeinab Alipourbabaie

Kamaljit Chana

Kamaljit Chana

Zeinab Alipourbabaie (left) told a tribunal that senior technical project manager Kamaljit Chana (right) also said: ‘Muslims are violent’ and ‘Pakistani men are grooming our girls.’

Mr Chana, who is Sikh and also a Conservative councillor in Harrow, northwest London, denied making the comments but a tribunal found Ms Aliporbabaie’s account of the one-to-one meeting ‘compelling and persuasive’.

 In the tribunal’s judgement, it said: ‘He asked if she was a Muslim and she replied that she came from a Muslim family […] he said ‘that he did not like Muslims’.’

The judgement went on to describe how Mr Chana also talked about 9/11 and that Pakistani men ‘are grooming our girls’.

The court also heard Mr Chana excluded Ms Alipourbabaei from meetings and emails and advised against promoting her. 

The court found that Iranian national Ms Alipourbabaie’s resignation amounted to constructive unfair dismissal.

Mr Chana was handed a final written warning but kept his job at Dyson after an internal investigation also found he had bullied and harassed Ms Alipourbabaie.

Dyson told the Times: ‘It said: ‘These allegations were investigated fully and disciplinary action was taken against Kamaljit Chana who was found to have acted inappropriately.

British billionaire Sir James Dyson said his electric car was cancelled for being ‘too risky’

British billionaire Sir James Dyson said his electric car was cancelled for being ‘too risky’

British billionaire Sir James Dyson said his electric car was cancelled for being ‘too risky’

‘We have since launched mandatory ‘respect’ training for all our people.’ 

Earlier this year, British billionaire Sir James Dyson said his company’s electric car was cancelled for being ‘too risky’.

The aborted ‘N526’ Dyson electric car, which Dyson piled £500 million of his own money into before pulling the plug, was a 16-foot-long seven-seater, electric SUV.

The 2.6 tonne-vehicle featured an aluminium body, quiet-running tyres and quick-charging battery cells that would have provided enough power to drive 600 miles on a single charge.

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First black woman to win Booker prize reveals she struggled with racial identity as a child

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first black woman to win booker prize reveals she struggled with racial identity as a child

The first black woman to win a Booker prize, Bernadine Evaristo, has revealed that she struggled with racial identity as a child. 

Evaristo recalled how as a child growing up in the 60s and 70s she would deliberately cross the road to avoid being seen with her ‘very dark-skinned’ father because she ‘didn’t want to be associated with him’. 

The acclaimed author, 61, grew up in Woolwich, southeast London and was the daughter of a white English teacher and a Nigerian welder. 

The first black woman to win a Booker prize, Bernadine Evaristo, has revealed that she struggled with racial identity as a child

The first black woman to win a Booker prize, Bernadine Evaristo, has revealed that she struggled with racial identity as a child

The first black woman to win a Booker prize, Bernadine Evaristo, has revealed that she struggled with racial identity as a child

Speaking on today’s Desert Island Discs on Radio 4, Evaristo recalled: ‘I remember when I was about 11, seeing him walking down the street towards me and I crossed the road because I didn’t want to say hello to him because I didn’t want to be associated with him.

‘I mean, that feels terrible now, but that’s what it was like, because growing up in the 1960s and 70s, in a very white area, there was nothing around us to tell us that being a person of colour was a good thing.’ 

Evaristo was the fourth of eight children and said she and her siblings were not taught about their Nigerian heritage growing up. Her father, born Julius Taiwo Obayomi Evaristo, adopted the English name Danny. 

‘He [my father] had four boys, four girls at a time when there was a lot of racism on the streets before the Race Relations Act,’ she said. 

Bernadine Evaristo

Bernadine Evaristo

Her father, Julius Taiwo Obayomi Evaristo, who adopted the name Danny

Her father, Julius Taiwo Obayomi Evaristo, who adopted the name Danny

Evaristo, left, was the fourth of eight children and said she and her siblings were not taught about their Nigerian heritage growing up, and her father, born Julius Taiwo Obayomi Evaristo, right, adopted the English name Danny

‘So he had children in a society where it was kind of OK to be racist, and he had to protect us.’ 

The Race Relations Act 1965 was the first piece of legislation in the UK to address the prohibition of racial discrimination. 

The act banned racial discrimination in public places and made the promotion of hatred on the grounds of ‘colour, race, or ethnic or national origins’ an offence.

Evaristo believes her father’s reluctance to tell his children about Nigerian culture was because he was concerned for them. ‘He didn’t tell us anything. He said later on that he wanted us to grow up as English children and so it wouldn’t be wise for him to tell us about his past or to pass on his language, which was Yoruba.’ 

Evaristo pictured as a child, second right, with the rest of her family. Evaristo was the fourth of eight children and said she and her siblings were not taught about their Nigerian heritage growing up

Evaristo pictured as a child, second right, with the rest of her family. Evaristo was the fourth of eight children and said she and her siblings were not taught about their Nigerian heritage growing up

Evaristo pictured as a child, second right, with the rest of her family. Evaristo was the fourth of eight children and said she and her siblings were not taught about their Nigerian heritage growing up

She also explained how she would be referred to as ‘half caste’ by other black people in the UK due to her mixed heritage. ‘Growing up we were called … half caste and that didn’t feel like an insult. That was what mixed-race people were called,’ she said.  

The author’s Booker-winning novel ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ topped the best-selling charts for five weeks over summer in the wake of the widespread Black Lives Matter protests. 

She became the first BAME woman and the first black British writer to assume the top spot in the UK paperback fiction charts. 

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SAS Mountain Troop members are barely visible as they patrol in winter camouflage 

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sas mountain troop members are barely visible as they patrol in winter camouflage

This photo shows SAS soldiers patrolling in the snow as they wear their winter camouflage and are barely visible. 

The soldiers are SAS Mountain Troops, who are experts in mountain climbing and arctic warfare and are trained to survive and fight in extreme conditions. 

They can be called on anywhere from the frozen hills in Norway to the mountains in Afghanistan

Their winter camouflage includes face masks and white speckled clothing and equipment, the Daily Star reported

Can you spot the SAS soldiers in this photo? Their winter camouflage includes face masks and white speckled clothing and equipment

Can you spot the SAS soldiers in this photo? Their winter camouflage includes face masks and white speckled clothing and equipment

Can you spot the SAS soldiers in this photo? Their winter camouflage includes face masks and white speckled clothing and equipment 

The outfit makes it possible for them to move almost invisibly through mountains and forests in snowy conditions. 

Members of the Mountain Troops  are among the best climbers in the world and have trained in various climbing schools across Europe and many go on climbing expeditions up some of the world’s highest mountains, including Everest. 

Mountain Troops use a range of equipment in their role, including climbing shoes with sticky rubber soles, climbing harnesses, carabiners for hooking onto climbing rope lines and nuts – metal wedges that fit into cracks, used to secure climbing lines.  

They can be called on anywhere from the frozen hills in Norway (pictured, file photo) to the mountains in Afghanistan

They can be called on anywhere from the frozen hills in Norway (pictured, file photo) to the mountains in Afghanistan

They can be called on anywhere from the frozen hills in Norway (pictured, file photo) to the mountains in Afghanistan

Their skills have been required throughout history until recently where their training in high-altitude warfare was used in the mountain ranges of Afghanistan. 

They were used during the 1982 Falklands conflict and during the cold war, they were used in Norway to guard Nato’s northern flanks against an expected Soviet push. 

Mountain Troopers are highly skilled in long distance skiing, scaling sheer cliffs and rock faces as well as arctic survival techniques.  

Their skills allow them to reach areas considered inaccessible by others and to attack from unexpected directions.  

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