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Dispatches Human Race

Capital punishment resumes

A 1995 photo of the death chamber, equipped for lethal injection, at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. (Chuck Robinson/AP)

Executed

On July 14, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to move ahead with the first execution carried out by the U.S. government since 2003. Federal authorities planned to execute convicted murderer Daniel Lewis Lee by lethal injection the day before at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. But earlier in the day, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a court order to stop it, saying a new lethal injection protocol would likely cause Lee pain and suffering. A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., refused the Trump administration’s plea to step in, leading to the Supreme Court’s ruling, with the five conservative justices voting in favor and the four liberal justices dissenting. Lee was executed later on July 14. The ruling comes after the Supreme Court on June 29 allowed federal executions to move forward.

Recorded

The U.S. Treasury Department says the U.S. monthly budget deficit topped $864 billion in June, breaking the record of $738 billion set in April. The federal government is on track to meet or exceed the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction of a $3.7 trillion annual deficit. The U.S. government spent $511 billion on the Paycheck Protection Program in June after re-upping the fund to buffer small businesses during the pandemic. And that was just part of the most expensive fiscal relief package in U.S. history. Meanwhile, a delayed tax deadline and millions of lost jobs slimmed down the government’s revenue.

Announced

Despite years of saying he would never do so, increasing corporate pressure finally pushed majority owner Daniel Snyder to seek a new moniker for Washington, D.C.’s NFL franchise. The team announced it is dropping the 87-year-old name “Redskins” and the Indian head logo, which many saw as a slur against Native Americans. Leading contenders for the new name reportedly include “Redtails” and “Warriors.” Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks have indicated they don’t plan to change their names. Officials with baseball’s Cleveland Indians said they are “committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”

Died

After one of South Korea’s most impor­tant elected officials disappeared on July 9, hundreds of police officers and firefighters searched for more than seven hours using dogs and drones. They found Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon dead the next day in the northern hills of the city. The third-term mayor was a former human rights lawyer and a potential presidential candidate. He was 64. Local television stations had reported that a secretary from his office told police on July 8 that Park had sexually harassed her. Park called in sick on July 9 and left home. His daughter called police five hours later. Authorities said they found no evidence of a homicide.