South Carolina set to become the fourth US state to allow firing squads to carry out executions
•The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill on May 5, 2021 that allows firing squads to carry out death penalty sentences and also makes electrocution a likely means of execution.
•This change has been proposed as states across US have hit barriers on executing those on death row due to problems in administering lethal injections, which is the widely preferred method in the US.
•However, due to difficulties in procuring the required drugs. executions have essentially been paused in many US states including South Carolina, which has not had an execution since 2011.
•Currently, lethal injection and electrocution are the two choices given to a death row inmate in South Carolina. However, if the inmate picks lethal injection, the state has been unable to move forward with the execution.
World’s oldest person withdraws from Tokyo Olympic torch relay
•The world’s oldest person, a 118-year-old Japanese woman, has decided to pull out from the torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to pandemic fears.
•Kane Tanaka, who was awarded a Guinness World Record, was set to be one of the participants of the Olympic Torch relay in Fukuoka in southern Japan on May 11.
•The Olympic torch relay, which had started in March 2021, has been hit by a COVID outbreak. Six people who helped with the relay tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of cases among those involved in the event to eight.
•Some celebrities scheduled to take part in the torch relay have also backed out due to safety reasons.
Spain detects 11 cases of COVID-19 variant first identified in India
•Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias informed recently that they have detected 11 cases of the new strain of the COVID-19 first identified in India.
•The Spanish Minister said that the cases were two separate outbreaks discovered by health officials in recent days.
•She further added saying that a plane carrying medical supplies, including oxygen and breathing machines, will leave for the COVID-hit India on May 6th.
•Spain’s government has approved a shipment of seven tons of medical supplies to help India combat its deadly second wave of COVID-19 infection.
Egypt court upholds seizure of Ever Given ship that blocked Suez Canal
•An Egyptian court on May 4, 2021 rejected an appeal by Ever Given ship’s owner against the court-ordered seizure of the vessel over a financial dispute.
•Egyptian authorities have seized the massive ship that had blocked the Suez Canal for over a week, halting maritime trade worth billions of dollars.
•The Suez Canal Authority said that the ship will not be allowed to leave the country until a compensation amount is settled on with the vessel’s Japanese owner.
•The Economic Court of Ismailia, Suez Canal city, had ordered the seizure of the vessel earlier this month. The ship’s owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd had filed an appeal on April 22 in hopes of overturning the decision. The court has now upheld the decision.
Australian players depart for Maldives, Mike Hussey to remain in Chennai
•Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association confirmed on May 6, 2021 that the entire Australian contingent in IPL 2021 including players, coaches, match officials and commentators are being safely transported to the Maldives.
•The Australians will remain in the Maldives till the travel ban is lifted on flights from India to Australia. Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association is not seeking an exemption from the Australian Government.
•Cricket Australia further said in an official statement, “CA and the ACA extend their sincere thanks to the Board of Control for Cricket in India for their responsiveness in moving the Australians from India to the Maldives less than two days after the decision to indefinitely postpone the Indian Premier League.”
•However, one former Australian cricketer Mike Hussey will remain in India as he tested positive for COVID-19. Hussey is experiencing mild symptoms and is currently in the care of his IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings.
•Cricket Australia and the ACA will work closely with the BCCI to ensure Mike’s safe return to Australia when it is safe to do so.
•Eight of the total 11 England players have also been safely transported back to the United Kingdom.
•Some of the New Zealand cricketers are likely to remain in India till May 10th before flying to the United Kingdom for national duty and they include skipper Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Trent Boult, Finn Allen, Mitchess Santner, Kyle Jamieson, trainer Chris Donaldson and physio Tommy Simsek.
•New Zealand are scheduled to play a two-match Test series against England, which begins from June 2nd, before they face India in the World Test Championship Finals at Southampton from June 18th.
• The remaining New Zealand contingent including Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Shane Bond, Tim Seifert, Adam Milne, Mike Hesson, Scott Kuggeleijn and James Pamment will return home.