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America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for authorities in Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Convicted killer Joseph Wood gasped and snorted during the 117 minutes it took him to die Wednesday after he was injected with a relatively untested combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone, witnesses and his lawyers said. It usually takes 10 minutes to put an inmate to death using a lethal injection. It was the second botched execution in the United States so far this year, prompting outrage from death penalty abolitionists and critics.
British retail sales volumes in the second quarter were the strongest in 10 years, although they stagnated last month, official data showed on Thursday. Retail sales volumes rose 1.6 percent between April and June compared with the previous three months, the strongest calendar quarter since early 2004, according to the Office for National Statistics.