National Briefs

Report: Belief death penalty is applied unfairly shows capital punishment’s growing isolation in US

HOUSTON (AP) — An annual report on capital punishment says more Americans now believe the death penalty is administered unfairly. The report says a Gallup poll from October that found 50% of Americans believe capital punishment is applied unfairly is another sign of the death penalty’s further isolation in the U.S. The report by the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center was released Friday. It says 2023 was the ninth consecutive year in which fewer than 30 people were executed and fewer than 50 people received death sentences. Experts say it remains uncertain if the public’s waning support of the death penalty and its declining use will ultimately result in its abolition in the U.S.

Parents can fight release of Tennessee school shooter’s writings, court rules

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Parents of school shooting victims in Tennessee can seek a court order to keep the writings of the shooter from ever being released to the public, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday. The parents, along with The Covenant School and Covenant Presbyterian Church, which shares a building with the school, all have a right to participate in a court case that will determine which police records can be released to the public, the Appeals Court ruled.

Lawsuits against Trump over Jan. 6 riot can move forward, appeals court rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawsuits against Donald Trump over the U.S. Capitol riot can move forward, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday, rejecting the former president’s bid to dismiss the cases accusing him of inciting the violent mob on Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit court knocked down Trump’s sweeping claims that presidential immunity shields him from liability in the lawsuits brought by Democratic lawmakers and police officers. But the three-judge panel said the 2024 Republican presidential primary frontrunner can continue to fight, as the cases proceed, to try to prove that his actions were taken in his official capacity as president.

Pfizer nixes more study of twice-daily obesity pill treatment

(AP) — Pfizer shares sank Friday when the drugmaker announced that it was abandoning a twice-daily obesity treatment after more than half the patients in a clinical trial stopped taking it. The New York company will focus instead on a once-daily version of the pill, danuglipron, instead of starting a late-stage study of the other version. Late-stage studies are usually the last and most expensive trials a drugmaker undertakes before seeking regulatory approval. Obesity treatments are one of the hottest and more lucrative areas of medicine. Pfizer rivals Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly already have injectable drugs on the market.

Death toll from Alaska landslide hits 5 as authorities recover another body

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of one of two people who had been missing following a deadly landslide last week in the southeast Alaska community of Wrangell. The body of Otto Florschutz, 65, was found late Thursday afternoon and recovered from the debris, Alaska State Troopers said in a statement Friday. One person, 12-year-old Derek Heller, remained missing following the late night Nov. 20 landslide that came down into the path of three homes, one of which was unoccupied.


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