Sudan defence minister just after a day procuring the seat stepped down as the head of nation’s transitional ruling military council. Protestors were demanding for the quick political changes after the dethroning of President Omar al-Bashir by the armed forces. Let’s dig through the latest update on Sudan protests.
Military council sought to calm the exaggerated public by promising a new civilian government. Defence minister Awad Ibn Auf on a televised speech said, he is resigning from the chief head of the council.
Ibn Auf said Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman will be new chief head of the council.
Many people celebrated the change in Khartoum streets by chanting, “The second has fallen!” People were saying so in reference to Bashir.
Previously, the military council said, as if chaos can be controlled then the pre-election transition to two years as much or less was expected.
The future civilian government’s announcement tried to re-ensure those protestors who were pressurizing for Bashir’s farewell. After Bashir’s departure, they again resumed to protests against army rule for a quicker and substantial change.
Thousands of protestors remained in-front-of the defence ministry compound. Bashir himself occupied power in 1989 military coup.
On Saturday, the Sudanese police spokesman said in a statement, 16 people killed and 20 injured in protests and sit-ins on both Thursday and Friday.
They also attacked the government building and private properties.
A doctor, Abdelhamid Ahmed said, “We do not reject a military council in principle, but we reject these people because they are from Bashir’s regime.”
Ibn Auf was Bashir’s vice president, defence minister and one of the Sudanese commanders also.
Reportedly, Washington imposed sanctions on him in 2003 over his alleged role during atrocities in Darfur conflict.
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Oklahoma’s governor says he has tested positive for COVID-19
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that he’s the first governor in the United States to test positive for the coronavirus and that he is isolating at home.
Stitt, 48, said he mostly feels fine, although he started feeling “a little achy” on Tuesday and sought a test. He said his wife and children were also tested Tuesday and that none of them have tested positive.
Stitt has backed one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans, resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one himself.
“We respect people’s rights … to not wear a mask,” Stitt said during Wednesday’s news conference, which was held virtually. “You just open up a big can of worms.
“A lot of businesses are requiring it, and that’s fine. I’m just hesitant to mandate something that I think is problematic to enforce,”GOVERNOR KEVIN STITT said.
Stitt attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases there.
Stitt said he’s confident he didn’t contract the virus at the rally.
“As far as where he became infected, it’s really unknown,” Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye said. “It wasn’t so far back as the rally,” which took place nearly a month ago.
Stitt’s announcement came as Oklahoma reported a second consecutive day of record-high numbers of confirmed virus cases, with 1,075 new cases, bringing the statewide total to more than 22,000. The previous daily high was 993 confirmed cases on Tuesday. Health officials also confirmed four additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the statewide death toll to 432.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations also are surging in Oklahoma, increasing from 458 last week to 561 on Wednesday, although Frye said there is still plenty of hospital capacity.
Stitt came under fire early in the pandemic after he tweeted a photo of himself and his children eating at a crowded restaurant.
One of Stitt’s cabinet members, David Ostrowe, tested positive for the coronavirus in March.
Supreme Court clears way for execution of federal prisoner
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Trump administration was moving ahead early Tuesday with the execution of the first federal prison inmate in 17 years after a divided Supreme Court reversed lower courts and ruled federal executions could proceed.
Daniel Lewis Lee had been scheduled to receive a lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital at 4 p.m. EDT Monday. But a court order preventing Lee’s execution, issued Monday morning by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, remained in place.
A federal appeals court in Washington refused the administration’s plea to step in, before the Supreme Court acted by a 5-4 vote. Still, Lee’s lawyers said the execution could not go forward after midnight under federal regulations.
With conservatives in the majority, the court said in an unsigned opinion that the prisoners’ “executions may proceed as planned.” The four liberal justices dissented.
Two more executions are scheduled this week, Wesley Ira Purkey on Wednesday and Dustin Lee Honken on Friday.
A fourth man, Keith Dwayne Nelson, is scheduled to be executed in August.
The Bureau of Prisons had continued with preparations for Lee’s execution even as lower courts paused the proceedings.
Lee, of Yukon, Okalhoma, has had access to social visitors, has visited with his spiritual adviser and has been allowed to receive mail, prison officials said. He’s been under constant staff supervision. The witnesses for Lee are expected to include three family members, his lawyers and spiritual adviser.
He was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell.
“The government has been trying to plow forward with these executions despite many unanswered questions about the legality of its new execution protocol,” said Shawn Nolan, one of the attorneys for the men facing federal execution.
The federal appeals court in Chicago had separately lifted an injunction on Sunday that had been put in place last week after some members of the victims’ family argued they would be put at high risk for the coronavirus if they had to travel to attend. The family on Monday appealed to the Supreme Court, which also denied the family’s claims.
The decision to move forward with the execution — and two others scheduled later in the week — during a global health pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 people in the United States and is ravaging prisons nationwide, drew scrutiny from civil rights groups as well as family of Lee’s victims.
Critics argue that the government is creating an unnecessary and manufactured urgency for political gain. The developments are also likely to add a new front to the national conversation about criminal justice reform in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.
Anti-death penalty protesters began gathering in Terre Haute on Monday. Organizer Abraham Bonowitz drove a van through the city with a sign emblazoned on the side of a trailer that read, ““Stop executions now!”
Because of coronavirus concerns, Bonowitz said his group, Death Penalty Action, wasn’t encouraging others to show up. No more than a few dozen protesters were expected to join him.
“It’s symbolic,” Bonowitz said about the protests. “We are just here to say that this is wrong.”
In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department has a duty to carry out the sentences imposed by the courts, including the death penalty, and to bring a sense of closure to the victims and those in the communities where the killings happened.
But relatives of those killed by Lee strongly oppose that idea. They wanted to be present to counter any contention that it was being done on their behalf.
“For us it is a matter of being there and saying, `This is not being done in our name; we do not want this,’” said relative Monica Veillette.
The federal prison system has struggled in recent months to contain the exploding number of coronavirus cases behind bars. There are currently four confirmed coronavirus cases among inmates at the Terre Haute prison, according to federal statistics, and one inmate there has died.
Barr said he believes the Bureau of Prisons could “carry out these executions without being at risk.” The agency has put a number of additional measures in place, including temperature checks and requiring witnesses to wear masks.
But on Sunday, the Justice Department disclosed that a staff member involved in preparing for the execution had tested positive for the coronavirus, but said he had not been in the execution chamber and had not come into contact with anyone on the specialized team sent to handle the execution.
The three men scheduled to be executed this week had also been given execution dates when Barr announced the federal government would resume executions last year, ending an informal moratorium on federal capital punishment as the issue receded from the public domain.
Executions on the federal level have been rare and the government has put to death only three defendants since restoring the federal death penalty in 1988 — most recently in 2003, when Louis Jones was executed for the 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of a young female soldier.
In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, President Barack Obama directed the Justice Department to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs.
The attorney general said last July that the Obama-era review had been completed, clearing the way for executions to resume.
Associated Press writers Colleen Long and Mark Sherman in Washington, Michael Tarm in Chicago and Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.
Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Man charged in federal court for Indian Country killing
TULSA, Okla. — A man accused in the shotgun slaying of a Native American woman in Tulsa was charged with murder in federal court Monday in line with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Federal prosecutors charged James Michael Landry, 29, with first-degree murder for the killing of his girlfriend, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation identified in court documents only by her initials, C.B.
The federal prosecutor’s office is pursuing the case consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling last week that state prosecutors lack authority in criminal cases on Indian land in which the suspect or victim are tribal citizens, said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
“In this case and others that may now fall under federal jurisdiction, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will uphold its trust responsibility in the public safety arena,” Shores said in a statement.
Authorities who arrived at Philpott Park in Tulsa on Friday to an emergency call of a woman in need of assistance observed Landry standing over the body of a woman who had been shot in the head, according to a court affidavit. A shotgun was found nearby.
Landry admitted to detectives that he was holding the gun when it discharged, but said the shooting was unintentional, the affidavit said. A message left Monday with the federal public defender’s office in Tulsa seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.
Landry is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
The Associated Press
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