Texas

Appeals court halts inmate’s execution

A Texas prisoner who has long claimed his innocence in the murder of a woman 23 years ago was days away from his execution when an appeals court stepped in to suspend his death sentence indefinitely. The decision by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas halted the execution of the prisoner, Rodney Reed, and ordered the court where he was originally tried to consider new evidence in the case, including testimony from eyewitnesses who have come forward in recent months, pointing toward the victim’s fiancé as another suspect.

Iowa

Buttigieg surges in Register Iowa poll

A new poll of Iowa voters has South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg surging to the front of the crowded pack. Buttigieg had support from 25% of likely caucusgoers, followed by essentially a three-way tie for second among Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, who all had about 15% support. No other candidate was in double digits.The survey, released by CNN, the Des Moines Register and MediaCom, was of 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 3.

Iran

Protests over gas prices turn violent

Protesters angered by Iran raising government-set gasoline prices by 50% blocked traffic in major cities and occasionally clashed with police Saturday after a night of demonstrations punctuated by gunfire, in violence that reportedly killed at least one person. The protests put renewed pressure on Iran’s government as it struggles to overcome the U.S. sanctions strangling the country after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Louisiana

Democratic governor holds on to his seat

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has stunned Republicans again, narrowly winning a second term Saturday as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor and handing Donald Trump another gubernatorial loss this year. In the heart of Trump country, the moderate Edwards cobbled together enough cross-party support with his focus on bipartisan, state-specific issues to defeat Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. After losses in Kentucky and Virginia, the Louisiana result seems certain to rattle Republicans as they head into the 2020 presidential election. Trump fought to return the seat to the GOP, making three trips to Louisiana to rally against Edwards.

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