death

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Police in Charleston, S.C., say a man they suspect opened fire and killed nine people during a Wednesday prayer meeting at one of the city's oldest historically black churches has been captured.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Christopher Lee, the actor best known for defining the role of Dracula on the big screen, died on Sunday at the age of 93.

An official for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London confirmed the death.

For a younger generation, Lee is best known for his role as Saruman, the white-maned villain in the Lord of the Rings franchise. Lee also played Count Dooku, another villain with superhuman powers, in the Star Wars series.

Ian D. Keating / Creative Commons

Sarah Eagan, Connecticut's Child Advocate, said this legislative session accomplished a lot for children.

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Veteran character actress Betsy Palmer has died.  

Palmer  achieved lasting, though not necessarily sought-after, fame as the murderous camp cook in the cheesy 1980 horror film "Friday the 13th."

Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's older son, has died after battling brain cancer, the vice president announced Saturday. Beau Biden, a former attorney general of Delaware, was 46.

"It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life," Joe Biden said in a statement issued by the White House. Hallie Biden is Beau Biden's wife; Hunter and Ashley are his brother and half-sister.

Algis Kaupas

The late cellist and teacher Ettie Minor Luckey will be remembered at an event later this week. She was an enthusiastic proponent of the arts along Connecticut’s shoreline.

James Skeffington, the Providence lawyer and longtime Rhode Island deal-maker who served as the public face of the new ownership of the Pawtucket Red Sox, died Sunday at age 73.

Skeffington was the top public spokesman and cheerleader for the group that bought the PawSox in February.

It seemed as if he'd go on forever — and B.B. King was working right up until the end. It's what he loved to do: playing music, and fishing. Even late in life, living with diabetes, he spent about half the year on the road. King died Thursday night at home in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old.

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This weekend, family and friends gathered in Bridgeport for the funeral of DeMonte Anozine. The 20-year-old was killed in a crash early Tuesday morning that closed down I-95 in Fairfield for several hours.

Courtesy of the New Haven Independent

About six years ago, I reported about a young fireball pitcher from New Haven named Jericho Scott. When he was just ten years old, his 40-mile-an-hour pitches were so good that one league decided he shouldn’t be allowed to pitch. The story in 2008 went flying around the Internet faster than Scott's fastball.

Ten days ago, Scott, 16 years old, was killed in a drive-by shooting in New Haven. He was a student at Wilbur Cross High School, and had continued to stand out on the ball field.

Updated at 8:55 a.m. ET

More than 5,000 people are confirmed dead from Saturday's earthquake just outside Kathmandu, Nepal. Nearly 11,000 more were injured, according to Nepal's National Emergency Operation Center.

From Kathmandu, NPR's Kirk Siegler reports that strong tremors are continuing:

Updated at noon ET.

Nepal's devastating earthquake that hit Saturday is now blamed for at least 4,000 deaths. Reconstruction is estimated to cost billions. International aid efforts are underway, but aftershocks are rattling survivors' nerves and making the recovery even more challenging.

Rescue crews and aid groups are working to reach survivors — but their efforts are being hampered by the stricken areas' remote locations. Roads that are drivable are clogged with traffic.

Singer Percy Sledge, perhaps best known for his hit "When A Man Loves A Woman," has died, Artists International Management Inc., his talent agency, said.

Sledge died of natural causes a little after midnight at a hospice in East Baton Rouge, La., according to a coroner. The coroner said Sledge was 74, though the Encyclopedia of Music as well as his talent agency says Sledge was 73.

Novelist Günter Grass, the Nobel laureate who is perhaps best known for his novel The Tin Drum and who shocked his country when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen SS in the last months of World War II, has died. Grass was 87.

The news was announced by his publisher, Steidl Verlag, in a statement on its website. The publisher said Grass died at a clinic in the town of Lübeck, Germany. It did not provide a cause of death.

A Connecticut man whose young son died after he left him inside a car on a hot day last summer has been spared prison time.

State investigators have cited the Hartford Fire Department for serious violations found during an investigation of a blaze that killed a city firefighter in October. City fire officials said Thursday that the department received citations from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

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Advocates for a law to allow terminally ill patients access to life ending drugs are hoping for success next year because there's not enough support this legislative session.

Sage Ross

    

Over 100 people testified before the legislature's Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

They spoke for and against a controversial bill to allow Connecticut doctors to prescribe medication to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

Michael Graves, one of the country's most prominent architects, has died at his home in Princeton, N.J., of natural causes, his firm, Michael Graves Architecture & Design, said in statement. He was 80.

NPR's Neda Ulaby tells our Newscast unit that Graves "was celebrated for designing everything from grand hotels to teapots."

Here's how Neda describes those iconic teapots: "The Michael Graves teapot is sleek and dome-like, with a circle for a handle. Like so much of his work, it's designed to be easy to use — and beautiful."

Sir Terry Pratchett, the prolific author behind the Discworld series, has died at the age of 66. The British writer had struggled with a rare, early-onset form Alzheimer's disease for the better part of a decade.

His publisher, Transworld Books, confirmed news of the writer's death in a tweet Thursday morning.

Albert Maysles, the father of the contemporary American documentary film who was behind such classics as 1970's Gimme Shelter, has died. He was 88.

Maysles, an Oscar-nominated director, died Thursday in New York, Erica Dilday at the Maysles Documentary Center confirmed.

NPR's Neda Ulaby is reporting on his death for our Newscast unit. She says:

"Albert Maysles with his brother David turned an unflinching cinematic eye on everything from door to door Bible salesmen to the most eccentric members of the East Coast elite. ...

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Roman Catholic Cardinal Edward Egan, the former archbishop of New York, has died. He was 82.

Egan headed the Diocese of Bridgeport from 1988 to the year 2000, when he was appointed by Pope John Paul the Second to lead the New York archdiocese.

Updated at 1:16 p.m.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock, the logical half-Vulcan, half-human in the original Star Trek series and several movies, has died at his home in Los Angeles, his granddaughter, Madeleine, told NPR. Nimoy was 83.

The cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she said.

NPR's Neda Ulaby, who is reporting on the story, tells our Newscast unit:

Each year more than 32,000 people die in the United States as a result of suicides, homicides and accidents with firearms.

For years doctors have tried to reduce the toll by addressing gun injuries and deaths as a public health issue; there's ample evidence that ease of access to is linked to the number of suicides and homicides. But those efforts haven't gained much traction.

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For the third year in a row, a proposal to allow the terminally ill to receive medication to end their lives will be before Connecticut legislators.

One of the main opponents has already launched a campaign against the bill. 

Stephan Ridgway / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy is proposing paying less to bury the poor. 

Malloy told legislators in his budget address that balancing the budget means hard choices. "The vast majority of these cuts are choices that, under ideal circumstances, Connecticut would not have to make," he said.

The Hartford

Liam McGee, former CEO of The Hartford has died. McGee, who was 60, passed on Friday after a fight with cancer.

Though McGee resigned last July as CEO of the insurer because of his health, he served as executive chairman up until early January of this year.

David Carr, a New York Times media columnist who had reported on the industry for 25 years, died after collapsing in the newsroom, the newspaper reported.

Decorated journalist Bob Simon, a correspondent for 60 Minutes known for his insightful reporting from far-flung spots around the world, has died in a car crash in New York City. He was 73.

Simon was a passenger in a town car on Manhattan's West Side on Wednesday evening when the car hit another vehicle and then crashed into a pedestrian median, according to local media citing police.

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