US judge rejects German drug maker’s effort to halt execution

In this June 1, 2018 file photo, small vials of fentanyl are shown in the inpatient pharmacy at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. (AP)
Updated 12 August 2018
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US judge rejects German drug maker’s effort to halt execution

  • Moore was sentenced to death for the 1979 murder of two taxi drivers
  • State officials have said they obtained the drugs legally, although they have kept their source secret

CHICAGO: A US judge on Friday denied German drugmaker Fresenius Kabi’s motion to stop a planned lethal injection execution in Nebraska on the grounds that the state improperly obtained the company’s drugs.
Federal Judge Richard Kopf ruled that the state could carry out the execution, its first in 21 years, using a four-drug protocol.
Fresenius Kabi had argued it was the likely source of two of those drugs, and their use in an execution would hurt the company’s reputation, especially with a European public largely opposed to capital punishment.
The German group argued that it had protocols in place to prevent its drugs from being obtained by state agencies for executions, and that if Nebraska had purchased the drugmaker’s injectable medicines, it had done so improperly.
But Kopf rejected the company’s arguments, issuing an oral ruling from the bench saying that since Nebraska has not publicly identified the source of its execution drugs, the company’s concerns were too speculative.
Fresenius Kabi reportedly planned to appeal the ruling, which for the time being did not alter the planned execution date of convicted murderer Carey Dean Moore, set for Tuesday.
Moore was sentenced to death for the 1979 murder of two taxi drivers. He is not contesting his execution order, but it could nevertheless be delayed by the lawsuit, should it prevail in an appeal.
“Decades have slipped by since Mr.Moore was sentenced to death. The people of Nebraska have spoken,” the judge said in his ruling.
“Any delay now is tantamount to nullifying Nebraska law, particularly given the rapidly approaching expiration of two of the drugs and the total absence of any feasible alternatives.”
State officials have said they obtained the drugs legally, although they have kept their source secret.
Injectable drugs have become harder to obtain amid public opposition and a reluctance or refusal by drug manufacturers to sell their products to prisons for use in executions.
Last month, a similar lawsuit by drugmaker Alvogen temporarily halted an execution in Nevada.


Four in 10 Britons worried, angry about Brexit: survey

Updated 9 min 42 sec ago
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Four in 10 Britons worried, angry about Brexit: survey

  • In a 2016 referendum, 52 percent voted in favor of leaving  the European Union
  • People who voted to Remain were reporting three times the level of anxiety of Leave supporters

LONDON: Around four in 10 British adults have been left feeling powerless, angry or worried by Brexit in the last year, according to a poll out Friday.
The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) charity commissioned the survey to look at the impact of Britain’s impending departure from the European Union on how people feel, their sleep and their relationships.
The poll found that Brexit had made 43 percent feel powerless, 39 percent feel angry and 38 percent feel worried.
Some 26 percent said Brexit had not caused them to feel any particular emotions in the last 12 months.
But 17 percent said it had caused them “high levels of stress,” while 12 percent reported that it had caused them sleeping problems.
Some said Brexit had made them feel hopeful (nine percent), happy (three percent) or confident (two percent).
In the 2016 referendum on Britain’s EU membership, 52 percent voted in favor of leaving while 48 percent backed remaining in the bloc.
MHF chief executive Mark Rowland told AFP that people who voted Remain were reporting three times the level of anxiety of Leave supporters.
“But in relation to powerlessness, you actually see that the differences between Remain voters and Leave voters are very equal,” he said.
“So everyone across the political spectrum is feeling like their ability to control what happens is very small.”
Geographically, he added, “the closer you get to London, the more concerned people are. Despite the fact that probably the impact of Brexit is going to be less on metropolitan areas.”
The terms of Brexit are yet to be decided, with Britain due to leave the European Union in seven days’ time unless an extension is agreed between London and Brussels.
The MHF charity, founded in 1949, aims to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.
Rowland reflected on the small percentage saying they were losing sleep over Brexit.
“Most people are actually able to get on with their lives and separate their concern about Brexit from their own personal and emotional response,” he said.
Pollsters YouGov conducted the online survey of 1,823 British adults between March 12 and 13.