Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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…

Egypt court confirms death sentence of Islamist extremist

Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
An Egyptian top court confirmed on Saturday as a final verdict the death sentence against Islamist extremist Adel Habbara over a 2013 deadly anti-security attack in Sinai, official MENA news agency reported.

The Court of Cassation rejected Habbara's appeal against his death penalty and handed 15 other fellow convicts various jail terms in the case known by the Egyptian media as "Rafah 2nd massacre."

The case dates back to Aug. 19, 2013, when militants gunned down 25 military conscripts after they stopped their 2 vehicles in Rafah city of restive North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The court convicted the defendants of deliberate murder, terrorism, espionage, vandalism, resistance of the authorities and possession of weapons , ammunition and explosives.

North Sinai has been the springboard of anti-government armed attacks since the military removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following mass protests against his 1-year controversial rule and his now-blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group.

Later security crackdown on Morsi's followers left about 1,000 of them killed and thousands more arrested, while terrorist attacks killed several hundreds of police and military men.

"Sinai State," a Sinai-based militant group loyal to the Islamic State (IS) regional terrorist group, claimed responsibility for most of the anti-government attacks.

A security campaign in Sinai killed over 1,200 militants and arrested a similar number of suspects over the past couple of years as part of the country's "anti-terror war," declared by former military chief and current President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi following Morsi's ouster.

On Friday, a bomb attack on a checkpoint in Cairo killed 6 policemen and wounded 3 others. A newly-emerged militant group calling itself "Hasm Movement" claimed responsibility for this attack via an online post as it claimed several others in recent months.

Source: Global Times, December 11, 2016

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