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Texas executes avowed racist in black man’s dragging death
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — An avowed racist who orchestrated one of the most gruesome hate crimes in U.S. history was executed Wednesday in Texas for the dragging death of a black man.
John William King, who was white, received lethal injection for the slaying nearly 21 years ago of James Byrd Jr., who was chained to the back of a truck and dragged for nearly 3 miles along a secluded road in the piney woods outside Jasper, Texas. The 49-year-old Byrd was alive for at least 2 miles before his body was ripped to pieces in the early morning hours of June 7, 1998.
Prosecutors said Byrd was targeted because he was black. King was openly racist and had offensive tattoos on his body, including one of a black man with a noose around his neck hanging from a tree, according to authorities.
King, 44, was put to death at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. He was the fourth inmate executed this year in the U.S. and the third in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.
In a statement released after his execution, King said: “Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment.”
Byrd’s sister, Clara Taylor, who watched King die, said he “showed no remorse then and showed no remorse tonight.”
From wire sources
Trump battle plan for post-Mueller probes: Just say no
WASHINGTON — Just say no.
As House Democrats ramp up their post-Mueller investigations into President Donald Trump, his strategy for responding is simple: Resist on every legal front. The administration is straining to hold off congressional investigators, including their efforts to obtain the president’s tax returns, his business’ financial records and testimony from former senior aides.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump declared on Wednesday. And if House members go all the way and try to impeach him, he said he would “head to the Supreme Court” for help.
Portraying himself as unjustly persecuted in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, Trump said his White House would refuse to cooperate with further congressional investigation.
“I thought after two years we’d be finished with it. No, now the House goes and starts subpoenaing,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn, asserting the probes have been commissioned solely for political advantage.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ poised to topple box-office records
NEW YORK — By any measure, the release of “Avengers: Endgame” is a movie-theater event unlike any other.
When the 22nd film in Marvel Studios’ saga opens in North American theaters on Thursday night, it will land on more screens than any movie ever has in U.S. and Canadian theaters. And even still, the 4,600 theaters the Walt Disney Co. has lined up may still not be able to keep up with demand.
Beginning Thursday night, many theaters will stay open round-the-clock. Seventeen AMC Theatres won’t close for 72 hours straight. Some $120 million in presales have already set records on advance ticketing services Fandango and Atom. AMC’s website was crashed by early “Endgame” ticket buyers.
“It looks like we’ve gotten Thanos’ snap,” AMC said at the time.
Just how massive the ticket sales will be by the end of Sunday has been one of the one of the industry’s favorite guessing games. Can it clear $300 million domestically? Is a $1 billion worldwide weekend possible? Will “Avengers: Endgame” eventually rival the $2.8 billion total gross of “Avatar” in 2009?
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