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US Carries Out First Execution Of Transgender Person For Murder

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A transgender woman convicted of murder was put to death late Tuesday in the first such execution in the United States, officials said.

Amber McLaughlin, 49, was pronounced dead shortly before 7 pm local time at the Diagnostic and Correctional Centre in the town of Bonne Terre, Missouri, according to a statement from the state prison department.

Local news station Fox2now reported that McLaughlin died by lethal injection.

McLaughlin was the first transgender person of either sex to be executed in the country, and also the first person to die by capital punishment this year in America.

She was convicted of murdering a former girlfriend in 2003 in a suburb of St. Louis, before she transitioned.

McLaughlin stalked the victim to the point where the ex-partner sought a restraining order.

The day of the killing, McLaughlin waited for the woman — named Beverly Guenther — as she left work.

Guenther was raped and stabbed to death with a kitchen knife. Her body was dumped near the Mississippi river.

In 2006 a jury found McLaughlin guilty of murder but was deadlocked on what her punishment should be.

The trial judge stepped in and imposed the death penalty. Such intervention is allowed in Missouri as well as in Indiana.

Citing the fact that a jury did not sentence McLaughlin to death, her lawyers asked Governor Mike Parson to commute her sentence to life in prison.

“The death sentence now being considered does not come from the conscience of the community — but from a single judge,” her attorneys argued in their clemency request.

They also argued that McLaughlin had had a troubled childhood and suffered from mental health issues.

Her cause had drawn support from high-profile people including two Missouri members of the US House of Representatives, Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver.

In a letter to the governor they said McLaughlin’s adoptive father used to beat her with a baton and even tasered her.

“Alongside this horrendous abuse, she was also silently struggling with her identity, grappling with what we now understand is gender dysphoria,” the letter stated. The condition describes people feeling their sex at birth and gender identity do not match.

Press reports said McLaughlin began her gender transition in recent years but had remained in the men’s section of death row in Missouri.

The Death Penalty Information Centre, which works to abolish such punishment in America, said there was no known previous case of an openly transgender person being executed in the United States.

The issue has drawn more attention in recent months, with the supreme court of Ohio upholding a death sentence against a transgender woman and Oregon state commuting one, the center said.

AFP

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Teen Girl, Parents Found Dead Inside $5M Mansion In Possible Murder Suicide

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A teenage girl and her parents were found dead in a $5 million Massachusetts, USA mansion overnight in an apparent domestic violence incident, police authorities said Friday, December 29.

The bodies of Rakesh Kamal, 57, his wife, Teena, 54, and their 18-year-old daughter, Ariana, were found in their home estimated to be worth $5.45 million — at about 7:30 p.m on Thursday, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said.

The district attorney who described the “terrible tragedy” as a “domestic violence situation” said a gun was found near the husband’s body.

He refused to say whether all three family members were shot dead — and by whom.

Morrissey said he was waiting for the medical examiner’s ruling, which was expected later Friday, before deciding whether to refer to the incident as a murder-suicide.

“Although the investigation is at a very preliminary stage, the evidence available at this time does not indicate the involvement of any outside party, but suggests that this is a deadly incident of domestic violence,” his office said in a statement.

“It is not believed that there is any ongoing danger to the Dover community related to this incident.”

The family’s mansion went into foreclosure a year ago and was sold to the Massachusetts-based Wilsondale Associates LLC for $3 million, property records obtained by The Post show.

The Kamals had purchased the 19,000-square-foot estate – which boasts 11 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms – for $4 million in 2019, according to the records.

The slain family members were the only ones living in the mansion at the time, the DA said, adding that the area was “a nice neighborhood, a safe community.”

The daughter was a student at Middlebury College, a $64,800-a-year private liberal arts school in Vermont, Morrissey confirmed.

The grim discovery of their bodies was made after a relative had stopped by to check on the family members after not hearing from them in one or two days, the district attorney said.

Morrissey added that there had been no prior police reports or domestic incidents tied to the home.

“I hate to see it at any time,” Morrissey said of domestic violence incidents. “I think some of the tensions that people feel in relationships often come out around the holidays.”

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Enough Is Enough: Pope Francis Calls For Ceasefire In Israel-Hamas War

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Pope Francis, has waded into the ongoing attacks and violence in Israel and Gaza, saying the killings that had claimed children and women among others.

The leader of the Roman Catholic church, called for humanitarian corridors to allow the delivery of food, water and fuel to the Gaza Strip, which is under heavy Israeli bombardment following a bloody attack by Hamas last weekend

In the eight days since Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,300 Israelis in their attack, Israel has responded with a devastating bombing campaign that had claimed over 2,300 lives in Gaza.

According to reports, conditions in Gaza hospitals were so critical that health workers had begun to store bodies in ice cream freezer trucks because moving them to hospitals has become too risky plus cemeteries have become full.

Pope, speaking after his traditional Angelus prayer in Rome’s Saint Peter’s Square, on Sunday, October 15, said;

“Humanitarian law must be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors and help the population.

“I strongly urge that children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians should not fall victim to the conflict.

“There have already been so many deaths, please let’s not shed any more innocent blood, not in the Holy Land, not in Ukraine, not anywhere else. Enough is enough. War is always a defeat,” he said, castigating “the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war.”

Pope Francis also renewed his call “for the release of the hostages” kidnapped by Hamas fighters in southern Israel and invited “all believers to unite in prayer with the Church in the Holy Land”

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, vowed to “demolish Hamas” as his military prepared to move into the Gaza Strip in search of Islamist militants, whose deadly rampage through Israeli border towns shocked the world.

Israel has told Gazans to evacuate toward the South, which hundreds of thousands had already done in the enclave that was home to more than two million people, about half in Gaza City.

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Israel Pounding Hamas, Will Obliterate hem – Prime Minister Netanyahu Vows

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The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has vowed to obliterate Hamas and emerge triumphant in the ongoing war.

Netanyahu said Israeli forces are pounding Hamas with brute force, adding that they just started paying the price.

The Prime Minister disclosed this in a statement following a security assessment at Kirya in Tel Aviv.

According to him, “Citizens of Israel, Shabbat Shalom. Shabbat shalom to our forces deployed across the country, who are celebrating the Sabbath in the field, far from home.

“And we are fighting tooth and nail: soldiers, police officers, citizens, security forces, health personnel and rescue teams — and Israel’s citizens, with your extraordinary volunteering spirit that has touched the world.

“We are all mobilized, we are all united. We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated against us by our enemies.

“We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated by our enemies and we will never forgive. We will not allow the world, or anyone, to forget these horrors, the likes of which the Jewish people have not endured in decades.

“We are pounding our enemies with unprecedented force, and I stress, this is only the beginning. Our enemies have only just begun to pay the price. I will not detail our plans, but I tell you, this is only the beginning.

“We will obliterate Hamas, we will triumph. It might take time, but we will end this war stronger than ever. “May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them.”

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