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RISE: Ark. executes man; health care returns; draft goes outdoors

April 21, 2017 11:32 AM
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State puts inmate to death for the first time since 2005; Trump again takes health reform to the House; NFL goes to the Rocky steps; and more headlines to start your day Friday, April 21, 2017.

Arkansas has executed an inmate for the first time in nearly a dozen years as part of its plan to execute several inmates before a drug expires April 30, despite court rulings that have already spared three men.

Ledell Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. Central Thursday. The 51-year-old Lee was given the death penalty for the 1993 death of his neighbor Debra Reese, whom Lee struck 36 times with a tire tool.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of one lethal injection drug expires. The first three executions were canceled because of court decisions.

Two more inmates are set to die Monday, and one on April 27. Another inmate scheduled for execution next week has received a stay.

WASHINGTON — Eager for a victory, the White House expressed confidence Thursday that a breakthrough on the mired Republican health care bill could be achieved in the House next week. The chamber's GOP leaders, burned by a March debacle on the measure, were dubious and signs were scant that an emerging plan was gaining enough votes to succeed.

During a White House news conference, Trump said progress was being made on a "great plan" for overhauling the nation's health care system, though he provided no details.

"We have a good chance of getting it soon," Trump said. "I'd like to say next week."

Also read: Trump’s budget calls for deep cuts to U.S. health care safety net

PHILADELPHIA — When the NFL chose Philadelphia to host the 2017 draft, it quickly became clear one of the world's most famous movie locations would be the perfect site to hold the three-day extravaganza.

"We had talked about a couple different venues for the NFL and they wanted the Rocky steps and they wanted the Art Museum," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told The Associated Press. "So that's what we gave them. It will be a terrific event."

Perhaps NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will run up the famous steps before announcing the No. 1 pick. Those same steps immortalized by fictional hero Rocky Balboa 41 years ago will serve as the backdrop for the elaborate stage, including a 3,000-seat, open-air theater, being constructed along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the NFL's first outdoor draft.

Police have searched a home in a suburb east of Paris believed linked to the attack on police on the Champs-Elysees.

A police document obtained by The Associated Press identifies the address searched in the town of Chelles as the family home of Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old with a police record.

Two police officials told The AP that the chief suspect in Thursday's attack is a 39-year-old from an eastern Paris suburb.

Police tape surrounded the quiet, middle-class neighborhood in Chelles early Friday, and worried neighbors expressed surprise at the searches.

NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton told an audience of LGBT advocates Thursday night that the progress they've achieved in recent years may not be secure under the Donald Trump administration, and urged them to keep fighting.

Also read: 57-year-old man arrested in connection with sexual assault of 5-year-old boy

"I know that the election hit a lot of us hard," Clinton said of her bitter loss to Trump in November. "But I can tell you this: Even when it feels tempting to pull the covers over your head, please keep going."

The audience at the fundraising dinner for The Center, an LGBT community group in New York, greeted Clinton with multiple standing ovations and huge cheers as she accepted the organization's Trailblazer Award. One of the biggest cheers came when she reiterated remarks she made in Geneva in 2011 as secretary of state: "Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

LOS ANGELES — Cuba Gooding Sr., who sang the 1972 hit "Everybody Plays the Fool," has died.

Authorities say the 72-year-old singer and father of Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. was found dead in a car Thursday in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles.

Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter says the cause of death is under investigation, but drug paraphernalia and alcohol were found in the car parked on a busy street.

Also read: From ‘nut job’ to ‘wacko,’ Trump has a history of insulting others’ mental health

Source: chillicothenews.com

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