US man executed for triple police murder

Washington (Agencies): The US state of Alabama on Thursday executed a man found guilty of murdering of three police officers, despite a campaign to save him by activists including celebrity Kim Kardashian. Nathaniel Woods, 44, was accused of being the “mastermind” behind the 2004 deaths of police officers allegedly lured into an ambush when they tried to arrest him on drug charges. Woods did not pull the trigger but was given the same sentence as the gunman, Kerry Spencer. Spencer described Woods as “100 percent” innocent in a recent letter to US media, saying that “I know this to be a fact because I’m the person that shot and killed all three of the officers.” Woods, who always protested his innocence, died by lethal injection. “Tonight, justice has been served,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement. Woods was convicted by 10 of the 12 jurors in 2005. Alabama is the only US state that does not require an unanimous verdict to impose the death penalty. Kardashian, a regular campaigner against the death penalty, tweeted earlier that Woods was “scheduled to be executed in Alabama TONIGHT for murders he did NOT commit.”

Saudi king relieves economy minister

Riyadh (APP): Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has relieved the economy minister in the latest cabinet reshuffle, official media reported as the kingdom grapples with plunging oil prices. Saudi Press Agency said late Thursday that the king “relieved” Mohammed al-Tuwaijri from his position as economy minister and tasked Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan with overseeing the ministry. Tuwaijri was appointed as advisor to the royal court with the rank of minister, the agency said. This comes 10 days after Saudi Arabia announced the creation of three new ministries, for tourism, sports and investment. A cabinet reshuffle last month also saw the return of former energy minister Khalid al-Falih to the main political arena as investment minister. Falih was sacked as energy minister in a major shake-up last September and replaced by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman -- the first member of the royal family ever to take charge of the kingdom’s all-important ministry.