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Donald Trump calls for death penalty for drug peddlers

Agency Press France

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump has called for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including embracing a tactic employed by many global strongmen: the death penalty.

“Toughness is the thing that they most fear,” Trump said at an event in Manchester, New Hampshire, a state ravaged by opioids.

Trump also called for broadening awareness about drug addiction while expanding access to proven treatment and recovery efforts.

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An estimated 2.4 million Americans are addicted to opioids, a class of drugs that include prescription painkillers, as well as heroin. Trump`s move is designed to burnish his tough-on-crime credentials, and he pledged to fix the crisis when he took office a year ago.

Drug-related murder is already a capital offense in the United States, but no one has ever been executed using those rules.

Officials indicated there would be no attempt to change the law to make the death penalty mandatory for trafficking alone, a move that would could well run afoul of Supreme Court rulings on proportional punishment.

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Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely

Thompson Reuters

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COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.

The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.

“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.

 

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