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A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S. The execution of 55-year-old Joseph Rudolph Wood took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency appeal while it was ongoing. The Arizona Supreme Court also called an impromptu hearing on the matter and learned of his death during the discussions.
By Caroline Copley BASEL (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche confirmed its full-year sales and profit targets on Thursday as growing momentum for its new breast cancer medicines and professional diagnostics products countered the effects of a strong Swiss franc. Unlike other pharmaceutical companies that have been ravaged by patent losses, Roche has yet to face a challenge to its older biotech drugs by makers of copycat treatments and has launched a string of new, expensive cancer medicines. The Basel-based firm hopes these so-called follow-on drugs will help it defend sales in its breast and blood cancer businesses once generic competition arrives. Its strategy looked sound after first-half sales of Perjeta, which targets the same protein found on some cancer cells as Roche's older blockbuster Herceptin, surged 276 percent to 388 million Swiss francs ($429.68 million).
Australia has sent 50 police to London in anticipation of deploying them to the Ukraine to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a United Nations team. He says foreign ministers of Australia and Netherlands are going to Kyiv to seek a memorandum of understanding that will allow international police to secure the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine.
By Hyunjoo Jin SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Hyundai Motor said its net profit fell the most in five quarters, hit by the local currency's sharp gain versus the dollar, and warned it sees a tough second half as the won stays strong and global demand growth weakens. Hyundai Motor, the world's fifth-biggest automaker combined with affiliate Kia Motors, on Thursday reported a 2.24 trillion Korean won ($2.18 billion) net profit for the second quarter, down nearly 7 percent from a year earlier. The fall is the biggest since Hyundai Motor's net profit slumped 16 percent in the first quarter of last year, squeezed by massive U.S. recalls and labor disputes in South Korea.
President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S. Mint is producing collectors' coins that restore the original 1964 design, which incorporated suggestions from a grieving Jacqueline Kennedy. Gold coins being stamped at the mint's West Point plant this week portray JFK's famously tousled head of hair a bit fluffier, his part is less severe and his cheeks less chiseled than on the half dollar discontinued in 2001.
Improvements in life spans, education and incomes are slowing due to natural disasters, misguided government policies and worsening inequality in a world where the 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people, the United Nations said Thursday in its annual human development report. With nearly a third of humanity poor or vulnerable to poverty, governments need to put a higher priority on creating jobs and providing basic social services, the United Nations Development Program said in the report, launched in Tokyo. It warned that improvements in longevity, education and income, which are the three main components of the UNDP's influential index of human development, are slowing due to worsening inequality and economic disruptions, to droughts and other natural disasters and to poor government policies. "As this report says, it's not rocket science," UNDP head Helen Clark said in an interview before the report's release.
A jury in St. Paul is set to resume deliberating for a third day whether a man regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history libeled former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in his memoir. Ventura says Chris Kyle made up a story in his bestseller "American Sniper" about decking him in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura supposedly insulted Navy SEALs. Ventura testified it never happened.
By Ronald Grover , Jennifer Saba and Liana B. Baker LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chase Carey, Twenty-First Century Fox's president and chief operating officer, may be feeling pressure to stay in his job for several more years both from his boss, Rupert Murdoch, and from the company Murdoch is trying to buy, Time Warner Inc. As Murdoch mulls his next step following Time Warnerâ€™s rejection of his $80 billion offer, some Time Warner investors say they are concerned about who might succeed the 83-year-old chairman and chief executive. In particular, they're not sure whether Murdoch's sons, James, 41, and Lachlan, 42, are ready to manage the integration challenge. The 60-year-old New Yorker, who's been working for Murdoch since 1988 and earned a reputation for a no-nonsense leadership style, signed a two-year contract with Fox in June that gives him the option to opt out after 18 months.
Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the top U.S. diplomat reported progress in efforts to end fighting that has so far killed more than 680 Palestinians and 34 Israelis. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal later demanded Gaza's borders be open and an end to the blockade against it, calling Palestinians "the true owners of the land." Israel has insisted it must substantially curb the military capabilities of the Islamic militant group Hamas â€” a position that appears to have gained support within the U.S. administration â€” while Hamas has demanded the lifting of a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade on the impoverished coastal territory it has ruled since 2007.
Family spokeswoman Annie Hayat said the plane flown by 17-year-old Haris Suleman went down shortly after leaving Pago Pago in American Samoa on Tuesday night. Hayat said the body of Haris Suleman had been recovered, but crews were still looking for Pakistani-born Babar Suleman. The teenager's sister, Hiba Suleman, said the trip had been a dream of her father's for years and that her brother was also excited about it. Haris Suleman had recently obtained his pilot's license and instrument rating, which authorized him to fly an aircraft over oceans, and planned to be the pilot in command except in an emergency.
The Arctic may be a hot commodity, with remarkable resource and tourism opportunities, but a conference has heard that Canada and the United States are barely out of the ice age when it comes to harnessing its growth. Business and political leaders from both countries heard Wednesday that while Russia is building more than a dozen icebreakers to transport liquefied natural gas to Asia, jurisdictions in Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories are still trying to organize business meetings. "Despite the very good practical relations between Canada and Alaska and the territories, we still have two kinds of solitudes in respect of each one reporting to their federal governments far away," said Canadian Arctic expert John Higginbotham. "What we need is high-level political and high-level business attention to the Arctic development in that region if we are ever going to keep up with the very rapid developments that Russia and Norway and Sweden and other countries are investing in."
China's food regulator has visited close to 600 restaurants, businesses and food distributors as it investigates a fast-spreading food safety scare that has dragged in a number of global brands and hit food outlets as far away as Japan. Shanghai police detained five people on Wednesday, including the head and the quality chief of Shanghai Husi Food, a Chinese-based supplier to foreign fast-food brands including KFC, McDonald's Corp and coffee chain Starbucks Corp over allegations it supplied out-of-date meat. Shanghai Husi Food is owned by Illinois-based OSI Group.