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America's Secret Death Penalty Drugs

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Governments have gone to great effort to keep the sources and methods of their death penalty regimes secret.
In November, the Omaha World-Herald sent a simple records request to the Nebraska state government. Along with several other news outlets, the paper wanted to know the source of the drugs to be used in an upcoming execution—the first in the state in more than 20 years.
In the past the Nebraska Department of Corrections would have provided this information, but now it refused. Officials there insisted that the supplier of the drugs the state intended to use, in the name of its citizens, to sedate, paralyze, and stop the beating heart of an inmate were exempt from Nebraska's public record law.
In December the Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to challenge the denial.
Nebraska is just the latest state to decide the executioner's black hood of anonymity also covers the pharmacies that mix the deadly compounds used to kill prisoners. As letha…

Singapore Appoints ‘Apprentice’ for Foreign-Language Oscar Run

Apprentice poster
Boo Junfeng’s “Apprentice” has been selected as Singapore’s contender for the foreign-language Academy Awards competition.

The film, about a young man who is asked to perhaps take over as the country’s state executioner, had its world premiere at the Cannes film festival May this year, appearing in the Un Certain Regard section. 

It had its commercial release in Singapore through Clover Films on June 30.

The selection was made by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), which is part of the Media Development Authority of Singapore. 

“Apprentice explores complex and sensitive themes while preserving an honest insight to the characters’ internal conflict and emotions. We believe the film will resonate with international audiences following its successful world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival,” said SFC director Joachim Ng.

The film is set for an extensive festival run with other stops including Toronto, Busan, and London. International sales, handled by France’s Luxbox, have included deals with Film Movement for North America, Arrow for the U.K., and Version Originale Condor for France.

Production was structured as a five way co-production between Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Qatar. It was produced by Akanga Film Asia, Peanut Pictures and Zhao Wei Films.

Source: Variety, Patrick Frater, September 15, 2016

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