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'Express lane to death': Texas seeks approval to speed up death penalty appeals, execute more quickly

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Texas is seeking to speed up executions with a renewed request to opt-in to a federal law that would shorten the legal process and limit appeals options for death-sentenced prisoners.
Defense attorneys worry it would lead to the execution of innocent people and - if it's applied retroactively, as Texas is requesting - it could potentially end ongoing appeals for a number of death row prisoners and make them eligible for execution dates.
"Opt-in would speed up the death penalty treadmill exponentially," said Kathryn Kase, an longtime defense attorney and former executive director of Texas Defender Services.
But a state attorney general spokeswoman framed the request to the Justice Department as a necessary way to avoid "stressful delays" and cut down on the "excessive costs" of lengthy federal court proceedings.
Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the #TimesUp movement, says sweeping changes to laws in recent years have dissuaded attorneys from taking on har…

Despite executions, Bali still Australians' #2 holiday destination; Singapore ranks 4th

Bienvenue à Bali
Welcome to Bali
The most searched for destination: Traveller names 10 most popular destinations according to readers

This week marks the second anniversary of the launch of Traveller.com.au and the past two years has seen Australia's leading online travel publishing site go from strength to strength. 

But what are Traveller's readers really interested in? We did some analysis to find out which destinations were our most popular with readers over the past two years and the answers might surprise you. 

Based on the destinations most searched for on the site, the No.1 place Traveller readers were seeking information and inspiration for was Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun has become increasingly popular with Australians in recent years, as we seek to experience new Asian destinations beyond the traditional hotspots in south-east Asia. 

Which is not to say that south-east Asia was not popular too. The No.2 destination was the traditional Australian favourite of Bali. And despite some bad publicity in recent years over several incidents involving Australians (including calls for a boycott of the destination after the execution of two of the Bali Nine drug smugglers), we have continued to flock to the Indonesian island in droves. 

Further from home, New York came in at No.3. The Big Apple has always drawn plenty of Australians, with increasing numbers of Aussies choosing to relocate there. Despite our dollar losing almost 20 per cent of its value against the US over the past two years, Australians remain keen to visit the US and New York is the first city of choice.

Perennial stopover favourite Singapore came in at No.4, and while Qantas may have now have bypassed the city on its "Kangaroo Route" to Europe in favour of Dubai, it's still a popular spot for stopovers for Australians travelling with other carriers to Europe and elsewhere.

Click here to read the full article

Source: traveller.com, Craig Platt, September 16, 2016

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