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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Chad sentences 10 Boko Haram members to death

Chad has sentenced 10 members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death on terror charges, after a 3-day trial in the capital N'Djamena.

The 10 were convicted over their roles in twin attacks on the capital in June, which killed at least 38.

The attacks were the 1st by the Nigerian-based group in Chad, which hosts the headquarters of a regional force set up to fight the militants.

In July, Chad reintroduced the death penalty for acts of terror.

Opposition and civil liberties groups have criticised the new anti-terror legislation, saying it could be used to curb civil rights.

The men were found guilty of charges including criminal conspiracy, killings, wilful destruction with explosives, fraud, illegal possessions of arms and ammunition, and using psychotropic substances, according to chief prosecutor Bruno Mahouli Louapambe, quoted in AFP news agency.

The trial had been due to last eight days, but "due to security reasons it was speeded up and moved on Thursday to an undisclosed secret location," a judicial source told AFP.

Among those convicted was Mahamat Mustapha, aka Bana Fanaye, the man described as the "mastermind" of the attack by Chad's Interior Minister Abderahim Bireme Hamid.

The June attacks were followed by a blast at a market in the capital in July, which killed 15 people.

Chad has banned people from wearing the full-face veil following the bombings.

Boko Haram had previously threatened to attack Chad, after it sent troops to help Nigeria recapture territory from the militant group, mostly in Borno state.

Chad has been instrumental in helping Nigeria retake most of the areas Boko Haram had seized.

The jihadists, who want to create their own Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, have killed thousands and forced millions to flee their homes in the country's north-east Nigeria since 2009.

Source: BBC news, August 28, 2015

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