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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…

Man sentenced to death for killing Coptic vendor in Egypt

Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
Cairo: An Egyptian court in the coastal city of Alexandria on Thursday sentenced an Islamist militant to death by hanging for murdering a Coptic alcohol vendor in the street earlier this year, legal sources said.

The city’s Criminal Court unanimously issued the verdict against the defendant identified as Adel Abdul Noor, the sources added.

The ruling, which can be appealed, was passed after approval from the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s top Islamic official, a routine procedure in cases involving death sentences in Egypt.

In January, Abdul Noor was captured on a surveillance camera attacking with a knife Yousuf Lami, who owned an alcohol store in the district of Khaled ibn Al Walid in eastern Alexandria.

Later, the 50-year-old suspect was arrested in a deserted house in Alexandria.

He confessed to the murder at the trial that started last month and refused to have a lawyer to defend him. Abdul Noor, however, denied links to any militant group.

The murder came weeks after a suicide bomber attacked a mass service in a chapel adjoining the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, killing 29 worshippers.

Daesh claimed the assault, the deadliest against Egypt’s Christian minority in decades.

Egypt’s Christians, known as Coptics, have long complained about persecution and attacks by Islamist extremists.

Hundreds of Christians last week fled North Sinai after radical Islamists executed some of them.

Christians staunchly back President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, who as defence minister led the army’s 2013 ouster of president Mohammad Mursi following mass protests against his rule.

Dozens of churches across Egypt were attacked by Mursis’s backers in the violent protests that gripped the mostly Muslim country following his overthrow.

In 2014, Al Sissi became the first Egyptian president to go to the Cathedral in central Cairo to congratulate Christians on the Coptic Christmas.

Source: Gulf News, March 9, 2017

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