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Inmate Will Testify
About Failed Execution

Two days after the execution of a convicted rapist-murderer was halted when technicians were unable to inject him with lethal drugs, a federal judge ordered Thursday that the inmate be deposed for a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injection procedure.

The deposition for the inmate, Romell Broom, is set for Monday, a day before he is again scheduled to be executed. His lawyers said they planned to file appeals in state and federal courts on Friday seeking to cancel or at least postpone his execution.

One of his lawyers, Adele Shank, said the appeals would present three arguments that executing Broom on Tuesday would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. They will contend that seven days is not enough time to recover from the physical and emotional trauma of the failed execution attempt, that Ohio’s lethal injection system in its current form is critically flawed and that lethal injection, in general, is cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. Strike Kills Al-Qaida
Commander, Pakistan Says

A top commander for al-Qaida has been killed in Pakistan by an American missile fired from a drone, Pakistani intelligence officials said Thursday.

The officials, who spoke anonymously under security rules, said the Qaida commander, Ilyas Kashmiri, was killed in a drone strike 10 days earlier in the border area of North Waziristan.

Kashmiri was considered by some intelligence officials to be one of the 10 most wanted militants in Pakistan. Although they said his body had not been found, agents were sent to his home village, Bahawalpur, to verify his death.

The missile struck a compound in the village of Machi Khel, and a security official said five other militants were killed and at least three others wounded. A local resident said the five dead fighters were Uzbeks.

Christmas Seals Evokes
Nostalgia to Revive Giving

With the economic downturn kindling a longing for less-volatile eras, many companies have turned to nostalgia marketing. Examples are Volkswagen, featuring a 1964 Beetle in advertisements; General Mills, selling Cheerios and other cereals in retro boxes; and Nationwide Insurance, resurrecting its “Nationwide is on your side” catchphrase.

Now a charity is about to test if that approach to consumer goods also applies to good deeds. The American Lung Association is introducing a campaign for its century-old Christmas Seals fundraiser that weaves vintage Christmas Seal images into contemporary advertisements.

The Christmas Seals program, where millions of households are mailed decorative stamp-sized seals for holiday-card envelopes, and are asked for a donation, is in decline: Donations plummeted to $12.6 million in 2008, from about $28 million in 1995.

The annual direct-mail effort, which once featured public service announcements from celebrities like John Wayne and Gary Cooper, has not been advertised since the early 1990s, when previous leaders at the nonprofit deemed the program so popular that promoting it was overkill, according to Carrie Martin, an American Lung Association spokeswoman.

Airbus Predicts Solid Plane
Sales Through 2028

Airbus predicted on Thursday that demand for new aircraft would remain healthy over the next 20 years, based on expectations of steady air traffic growth in the developing world and the rapid expansion of low-cost carriers. The prediction comes even as the world’s airlines are suffering a second straight year of steep losses.

The company, a unit of European Aeronautic Defense & Space, forecast that airlines would buy nearly 25,000 new jets through 2028, with a market value of $3.1 trillion. That represented an increase of 2.7 percent from its previous forecast in February 2008, when air carriers were reeling from the initial effects of the global economic crisis.

Airbus, which expects to secure orders for around 300 planes this year, also said the steep decline in world air traffic would probably stabilize in 2010 and could rise by as much as 4.6 percent. It forecast a decline in 2009 traffic of 2 percent to 4 percent.

The International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday that it expected the world’s airlines to lose a combined $11 billion this year on top of a $16.8 billion loss in 2008. But despite those hefty losses, John Leahy, the chief salesman for Airbus, said that Airbus had seen relatively few order delays and cancellations.

“A lot of people have talked about massive cancellations in the recession, but that’s not really true,” Leahy said at a presentation in London. He said Airbus had received fewer than 40 cancellations this year, less than 1 percent of the company’s order backlog of around 3,600 planes.

Still, he acknowledged that many customers were having difficulty securing financing and had postponed deliveries – some by several years.

The company’s American rival, Boeing, has had at least 64 order cancellations this year, almost all of them for its 787 Dreamliner, which has been delayed more than two years by production snags.