In brief | Nation & world | 5-2-14


Oklahoma officials took 51 minutes trying to insert IV in botched execution, prison chief says

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma prison officials tried for 51 minutes to find a vein in a death row inmate’s arms and feet before inserting an IV through the man’s groin ahead of a botched execution this week, the state’s prisons chief said Thursday in a report urging more oversight of executions.

Clayton Lockett died of an apparent heart attack 10 minutes after prisons director Robert Patton halted the execution Tuesday night. Patton said Lockett had an intravenous tap placed at his groin because suitable veins couldn’t be found elsewhere. That vein collapsed, and Patton said Lockett didn’t have another viable one — and that the state didn’t have another dose of the drugs available anyway.

The IV line was covered by a sheet because it had been placed at Lockett’s groin, Patton said in his letter to the governor detailing Lockett’s last day. The line becoming dislodged wasn’t discovered until 21 minutes after the execution began and all of the execution drugs had been injected into the line.

“The drugs had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both,” Patton wrote. “The director asked the following question, ‘Have enough drugs been administered to cause death?’ The doctor responded, ‘No.’”

After the doctor attending the execution found a faint heartbeat, Patton ordered the execution stopped. Lockett died anyway.

Children of Belfast woman shot by IRA hope Sinn Fein chief charged with crime

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — For decades, Helen McKendry has demanded that Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams come clean about the Irish Republican Army’s abduction, slaying and secret burial of her mother in 1972, and his alleged role as the outlawed group’s Belfast leader who ordered the killing.

As detectives interrogated Adams for a second day over the unsolved slaying of the 37-year-old widowed mother of 10, who was falsely branded a British spy, the daughter who led a campaign for the truth says she’s praying for a murder charge.

“I’m hoping against hope that he doesn’t walk out free,” McKendry told The Associated Press. “Everybody, the dogs in the street, knew he was the top IRA man in Belfast at that time.”

Under British anti-terror law, Adams, 65, must be charged or freed by Friday night, unless police seek a judicial extension to his interrogation.

Fiery train wreck in Virginia brings demands for tighter regulation of crude oil shipments

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The latest in a string of fiery oil-train wrecks brought renewed demands Thursday that the Obama administration quickly tighten regulations governing the burgeoning practice of transporting highly combustible crude by rail.

With production booming in the Bakken oil field along the U.S. northern tier and in Canada, some experts say stronger rules to head off a catastrophe are long overdue. However, drafting and approving new regulations can take months or even years, an elaborate process that involves time to study potential changes and a public comment period before anything is adopted.

In the latest crash, a CSX train carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota derailed Wednesday in downtown Lynchburg, sending three tanker cars into the James River and shooting flames and black smoke into the air. No one was injured, but the wreck prompted an evacuation and worried residents and officials.

Toronto Mayor Ford boards plane for rehab after report of new crack video surfaces

TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford began a leave of absence and headed for a rehab center Thursday, leaving his scandalized city in the dark about his political future after a report surfaced of a second video of him apparently smoking crack cocaine.

Ford announced Wednesday that he would take leave for an unspecified amount of time from both his mayoral post and his re-election campaign, but he did not abandon his bid for a second term as mayor of Canada’s second largest city. One of his campaign rivals and other Toronto politicians demanded he resign. Toronto police said they were looking into the new video, which was reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

A day after announcing his decision, Ford boarded a plane for Chicago headed for a treatment program that will last at least 30 days, his lawyer Dennis Morris told The Associated Press.

By wire sources