The Associated Press reported Friday that drugmaker Fresenius Kabi USA forbade Arkansas from purchasing its products for use in capital punishment. Fresenius has identified itself as the possible source of Arkansas' supply of potassium chloride, one of three drugs the state is using in its eight executions scheduled this month.
Months after Fresenius asked the state not to use its drugs for lethal injections, AP reports a state corrections official accepted a "donation" of the drug "by driving to an undisclosed location to meet an unnamed seller" who made no record of the sale.
Arkansas had planned four double executions in 11 days before its supply of another drug expired April 30. The first inmate was executed Thursday, after the Supreme Court reversed a judge's order blocking the state's use of another lethal injection drug, vecuronium bromide. The state was previously prohibited from using the drug after the distributor claimed the state had misled it by indicating the drug would be used for "medically approved purposes," AP reports.
Four of the eight inmates scheduled for execution have received court reprieves. Becca Stanek
National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers reportedly told the Senate and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team that President Trump had asked them to publicly announce there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia, CNN reports based on statements by multiple people familiar with the hearings.
The request from Trump was made in March, apparently just a few days after then-FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed a probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
A public hearing earlier this month did little to elucidate what unfolded in the intelligence directors' conversations with the president, in part because when the intel chiefs sought guidance from the White House on whether the talks were protected by executive privilege, they did not receive an answer. Both firmly stated they did not feel pressure from the president to interfere in the ongoing investigation, although they described their interactions with Trump as uncomfortable and strange, and did not ultimately act on his request.
Rather, the directors "recounted conversations that appeared to show the president's deep frustration that the Russia allegations have continued to cloud his administration," CNN reports. Read more details of Coats' and Rogers' conversations here. Jeva Lange
When the deputy overseeing their work detail passed out last week, six Georgia inmates rushed to save his life, performing CPR and calling 911 from his phone.
They were outside doing lawn maintenance at a cemetery in hot weather — it was 76 degrees with 100 percent humidity — when the officer, who asked not to be identified, collapsed. The inmates immediately opened his shirt and took off his bulletproof vest, then began CPR. "When that happened, in my opinion, it wasn't about who is in jail and who wasn't," inmate Greg Williams told WXIA. "It was about a man going down and we had to help him."
The officer was unconscious for about a minute, and then started breathing again. "They really stepped up in a time of crisis and show that they care about my officers," Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats told WXIA. "That really speaks a lot about my officers, too, how they treat these inmates. They treat them like people. Like family." To show their appreciation, the officer's family later treated the inmates to lunch and dessert. Catherine Garcia
Los Angeles County has an estimated 58,000 homeless people, and it's believed that 20 percent have a pet of some kind. Due to the cost, many of those dogs, cats, and other animals have never seen a vet before, but on Wednesday, a group of volunteer veterinarians and technicians set up a pop-up clinic at the Frank Rice Access Center in downtown Los Angeles and offered their services free of charge.
"It's amazing to see," one volunteer told ABC 7. "You know, a lot of these people would rather feed their dogs than feed themselves. And it's really sad but at the same time amazing. And I feel like half of these people are alive because of their animals."
Edward Irvine came to the clinic with his dogs Apollo, Cherry, and Precious, and told ABC 7 he couldn't imagine life without them. "They keep you calm," he said. "You have responsibilities, you know they're around, they know when you're feeling sad. It's just wonderful support. You know they love me no matter what." Catherine Garcia
President Trump didn't entirely stick to the script Wednesday night in Iowa, peppering his hour-long speech with off-the-cuff remarks about witch hunts, his anti-wind turbine views, and how he doesn't want "a poor person" in charge of the economy.
"I love all people," he said. "Rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense?" Trump was referring to hiring people like former Goldman Sachs CEO Gary Cohn as his chief economic adviser, despite his pledge to "drain the swamp" of insiders. He also claimed there are "phony witch hunts going against me," but it's okay because "all we do is win, win, win," and suggested he was the first pesron to think of putting solar panels on his proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. "Pretty good imagination, right?" he asked. "Good? My idea."
In one breath, Trump called Democrats "obstructionists," then flipped the script and said he wanted to work with them, then a beat later said, "but who cares." He had harsh words for wind turbines, saying, "I don't want to just hope the wind blows to light up your house and your factory as the birds fall to the ground," repeatedly mentioned "fake news," and said he had to be careful with his words "because they'll say, 'He lied!'" Catherine Garcia
During a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wednesday night reminiscent of his time on the campaign trail, President Trump brought up the GOP's proposal to repeal and replace ObamaCare, saying, "I hope we are going to surprise you with a really good plan."
Trump revealed that he has been "talking about a plan with heart," adding that he told Republican senators, "Add some money to it!" He acknowledged that the Republicans have a "very slim" majority in the Senate and "basically can't afford to lose anybody" when it comes time to vote. "If we could just get a few votes from the Democrats, it would be so easy and so beautiful," he said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans on finally letting senators see a draft of the bill on Thursday morning. Catherine Garcia
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, on Wednesday, asking to see records on President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, his security clearance, and the classified information he is able to see.
The letter questions why Kushner, who while applying for his security clearance reportedly did not disclose meetings he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, and the CEO of a Russian state-owned bank, "continues to have access to classified information, while these allegations are being investigated." The 18 Democrats are also seeking similar records on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned in February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with Kislyak.
The Trump administration has ignored 260 letters from House Democrats, NPR reports, and has asked the Justice Department to come up with a legal opinion that says only committee chairs have the authority to ask executive branch agencies for information on what they are doing. This doesn't thrill Republicans, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) telling NPR the policy runs counter to "everything that every eighth grade student has studied about checks and balances of government." Catherine Garcia
Weather scientists with the American Meteorological Society sent Energy Secretary Rick Perry a letter on Wednesday, hoping to educate him on climate change.
The letter came after Perry said during an interview with CNBC that he does not think carbon dioxide plays a primary role in contributing to climate change. This shows he lacks a "fundamental understanding of the science," the scientists said, and it is "critically important that you understand that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the primary cause. This is a conclusion based on the comprehensive assessment of scientific evidence. It is based on multiple independent lines of evidence that have been affirmed by thousands of independent scientists and numerous scientific institutions around the world."
The letter included the AMS' current statement on climate change, and asserted that if Perry does not understand what's behind climate change, "it is impossible to discuss potential policy changes in a meaningful way." Catherine Garcia