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An inmate in the US has chosen to be executed in the electric chair after arguing that lethal injections are not humane.

David Earl Miller will be the second person to die in the Tennessee’s electric chair in recent months on Thursday evening.

The 61-year-old has been on death row for 36 years – the longest time a prisoner has waited for execution in the state.

Miller was convicted of first-degree murder for the May 1981 killing of Lee Standifer.

The 23-year-old woman, who was mentally disabled, was repeatedly beaten, stabbed and dragged into the woods after going on a date with Miller.

Convicted murderer Edmund Zagorski, who was executed on 1 November, had also chosen the electric chair over lethal injection, despite proponents saying this method is painless and humane.

Both inmates had argued in court that Tennessee’s current method, involving the drug midazolam, involves a prolonged and torturous death.

Miller and Zagorski pointed to the state’s execution of Billy Ray Irick in August, which took about 20 minutes.

During this time, Irick was coughing and huffing before he turned dark purple.

Billy Ray Irick's execution by lethal injection took around 20 minutes
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Billy Ray Irick’s execution by lethal injection took around 20 minutes

The duo’s case was thrown out – mainly because a judge said they failed to prove that a more humane alternative was available.

Zagorski’s execution was delayed for about three weeks after he requested the electric chair amid a last-minute flurry of legal manoeuvres.

A federal court judge eventually ordered the state to comply, and the 63-year-old was executed on 1 November.

It was only the second time Tennessee had put an inmate to death in the electric chair since 1960.

Edmund Zagorski was executed by electric chair on 1 November
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Edmund Zagorski was executed by electric chair on 1 November

States have moved away from the electric chair in recent decades – and no state uses electrocution as its main execution method anymore.

First used in 1890, execution by electric chair was developed as a “humane alternative” to hanging.

A prison guard stands in the Electric Chair room at Sing Sing Prison, New York, in 1951
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A prison guard stands in the Electric Chair room at Sing Sing Prison, New York, in 1951

Various cycles of alternating current would be passed through the individual’s body which would then cause fatal damage to the internal organs. It involves two powerful jolts of electric current, with the first causing immediate unconsciousness.

In Tennessee, inmates whose crimes were committed before 1999 can choose electrocution over lethal injection.

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Eight gold miners rescued in Zimbabwe – but dozens feared dead | World News

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Eight illegal gold miners have been pulled alive from flooded pits after being trapped underground for days in Zimbabwe.

Exhausted and muddied, they were quickly whisked away by rescuers as relatives at the scene cheered and hugged one another.

Zimbabwe has declared a national disaster after heavy rain caused a dam wall to collapse on Tuesday, with water rushing into nearby mining tunnels.

Surviving miners were exhausted and muddied after being pulled out
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Surviving miners were exhausted and muddied after being pulled out

It is unclear how many miners remain trapped, but officials have estimated that up to 70 people were underground at the time.

According to the government’s deputy chief mining engineer, “it doesn’t seem likely” that there are any other survivors.

But Henrietta Rushwaya, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation, expressed hope of a miracle, saying: “We hope we will be able to retrieve all of the people in time.”

A body bag is taken to a tent for identification
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A body bag is taken to a tent for identification

At least 22 bodies have been identified underground so far – and one by one, they have been pulled from tunnels, placed in body bags and taken to a tent.

Ignoring a strong stench, some friends and relatives have broken police lines in an attempt to identify their loved ones.

The disaster happened in Battlefields – a small settlement 110 miles west of Harare that is rich in gold deposits and popular with illegal miners.

At least 22 bodies have been identified in shafts and tunnels
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At least 22 bodies have been identified in shafts and tunnels

The makeshift shafts and tunnels, some running as deep as 50m (164ft), can easily collapse in the rainy season when the ground is soft.

According to the Zimbabwean government, $200,000 (£155,000) is needed to complete the rescue effort – with a spokesman urging “well-wishers” to donate body bags, masks and gloves.

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UK on wrong side of law on Saudi arms sales, watchdog warns | World News

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Britain is “narrowly on the wrong side” of international law over arms sales to Saudi Arabia during the Yemen conflict, a Westminster watchdog has warned.

It was “highly likely” that UK weapons had caused “significant” civilian casualties during the course of the brutal four-year civil war, the House of Lords international relations committee said.

The influential cross-party group said relying on Saudi assurances they were not targeting civilians was not an “adequate way” of fulfilling the UK’s obligations under an international arms trade agreement.

The government has faced repeated calls to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia after it began airstrikes in March 2015 against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who seized control of large swathes of the country.

activists march with homemade replica missiles bearing the message 'Made in Britain, destroying lives in Yemen'
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The government has been under pressure to halt arms sales over airstrikes in Yemen

Last year the United Nations estimated at least 6,600 civilians had died as a result of indiscriminate bombing and another 10,000 injured, although it acknowledged the actual figures were likely to be significantly higher.

In its inquiry report, the committee said that since the start of the conflict the UK had licensed £4.7bn of arms exports to Saudi Arabia and a further £860m to its allies in the international coalition against the Houthis.

Typhoon jet fighters and associated systems accounted for the majority of exports approved for the Saudis.

In evidence to the committee, ministers argued that the government’s licensing process was “narrowly on the right side of international humanitarian law”.

A Yemeni child recites a prayer by the graves of schoolboys who were killed while on a bus that was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike
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The UN estimates at least 6,600 civilians have died as a result of indiscriminate bombing

The committee however said: “Although conclusive evidence is not yet available, we assess that it is narrowly on the wrong side.

“Given the volume and type of arms being exported to the Saudi-led coalition, we believe they are highly likely to be the cause of significant civilian casualties in Yemen, risking the contravention of international humanitarian law.”

The committee said relying on Saudi-led review processes into incidents of suspected civilian casualties was not sufficient to meet Britain’s obligations under international law.

“We are deeply concerned that the Saudi-led coalition’s misuse of their weaponry is causing, whether deliberately or accidentally, loss of civilian life,” it said.

It added: “Export licensing decisions for the sale of arms always require fine judgements, balancing legitimate security concerns against human rights implications, and each situation must be assessed individually.”

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been described as 'unconscionable'
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The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been described as ‘unconscionable’

Committee chairman, Tory former foreign minister Lord Howell of Guildford, said: “The humanitarian situation in Yemen is unconscionable.

“That the UK is the second-largest exporter of arms to Saudi-Arabia, and the fifth-largest donor of humanitarian aid in Yemen is a contradiction which the government must address as a matter of urgency.”

A government spokeswoman said: “The UK is doing all that it can to help parties to find a way to end this devastating conflict.”

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Hitler actor Bruno Ganz, who went viral in memes, dies | Ents & Arts News

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The actor Bruno Ganz, who was most famous for playing Adolf Hitler in the Oscar-nominated film Downfall, has died aged 77.

The Swiss star had cancer and died at his home in the Swiss city of Zurich.

Ganz portrayed Hitler as a ranting and delusional madman in a bunker during the final days of his life.

But he was also shown as a fatherly figure with Parkinson’s disease who was concerned about his secretaries’ welfare.

One particular scene in the 2004 movie featured a furious fuhrer and spawned many parody memes online.

The memes included Hitler being told his pizza would arrive late, finding out the UK would leave the EU, and discovering there was no toilet paper.

Meme
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Many memes were spawned after his performance as the Nazi dictator

The actor immersed himself in the Nazi dictator role to such a degree that it affected his personality.

He said: “I tend to identify with my roles to such an extent that I appear to be totally convinced about certain statements that, in real life, I would never believe in.”

For more than 50 years, Ganz worked in German language theatre, film and television.

He was described by German foreign minister Heiko Maas as “one of the most important actors of our time”, whose “brilliant work remains”.

Bruno Ganz at the Berlin film festival in 2017
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For more than 50 years, Ganz worked in German language theatre, film and television

He was the holder of the Iffland-Ring, the most important award for German-speaking actors.

In Hollywood, he featured alongside Liam Neeson in the 2011 movie Unknown, and also appeared in the 2004 blockbuster The Manchurian Candidate, starring Denzel Washington.

Married once, he separated from his wife with whom he had a son.

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