Indiana

Man executed for 2001 murder

The U.S. government executed a former soldier who said an obsession with witchcraft led him to kill a Georgia nurse he believed had put a spell on him 19 years ago. William Emmett LeCroy, 50, was the sixth federal inmate to have been executed in 2020, following a 17-year period without a federal execution. Lawyers had asked President Donald Trump in a petition to commute LeCroy’s sentence to life in prison, saying that LeCroy’s brother, Georgia state trooper Chad LeCroy, was killed during a routine traffic stop in 2010 and that another son’s death would devastate their family. A last-minute bid to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay also failed.

California

Smoke more deadly than fires

The heavy smoke from wildfires that choked much of California in recent weeks has almost certainly killed more people than the flames from the massive fires themselves, health experts say. Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 10, the historically bad concentrations of wildfire smoke were responsible for at least 1,200 and possibly up to 3,000 deaths in California that otherwise would not have occurred, according to an estimate by researchers at Stanford University. By comparison, through Wednesday, 26 people have died directly in wildfires this year statewide.

Washington, D.C.

TikTok seeks to stop ban of app

TikTok, the short-form viral video app, asked for a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration, a legal maneuver aimed at protecting the company’s service in the United States against a potential ban. The request is in response to Commerce Department rules that Apple and Google remove the TikTok app from their respective app stores for American users, and cease to provide further software updates to people who have downloaded the app in the United States. TikTok is owned by the Chinese internet company ByteDance, and the White House has positioned TikTok’s U.S. presence as a national security threat.

Germany

Navalny released from hospital

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, has been released from a hospital in Germany and could make a full recovery from poisoning with a highly toxic nerve agent, doctors said Wednesday, as European leaders wrestled over a response to Moscow. Neither the doctors nor Navalny, 44, gave any indication of where he would go after his release. But a senior German security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he would remain under protection in Berlin for rehabilitation. Navalny has said that he intends to return to Russia once he has made a full recovery.

Pakistan

2 men sentenced in factory fire

Eight years after Pakistan’s worst industrial fire killed 264 people and injured 60 others at a garment factory in the country’s largest city, a court has sentenced two men to hang for arson. But for families of the victims, justice was long delayed, and the verdict fell short. It came after years of hearings and testimony from at least 400 witnesses. The slow pace of the trial frustrated victims’ families, who accused the police of failing to properly investigate and charge the real culprits. Activists and victims’ families say factory owners have been mostly lax or negligent in setting up proper security protocols, leaving workers vulnerable to accidents.

France

Eiffel Tower briefly evacuated

The Eiffel Tower was briefly evacuated after police in Paris received a phone call suggesting there was a bomb at the monument, but officers inspecting the site did not find anything suspicious. The monument was “fully” evacuated shortly after midday as a precautionary measure after police received the anonymous call, the company that runs the Eiffel Tower said. Police also cordoned off an area around the tower. The site reopened two hours later after police had carried out checks in and around the monument. Paris police confirmed that officers did not find anything suspicious but declined to provide more details about the anonymous call.

News services