By Gus Bode

Federal prisons run out of key execution drug


COLUMBUS, Ohio — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the federal prisons department has run out of a key execution drug and is exploring alternatives, dashing states’ hopes of obtaining a federal supply of the drug.


Holder says the lack of sodium thiopental is a serious concern that the government is analyzing.

Holder wrote a March 4 letter to states that was obtained by The Associated Press. In it, he says that federal officials are looking at options, including changes to federal execution procedures.

The immediate impact of the federal shortage is minimal. A lawsuit is challenging the federal government’s injection procedures, and the U.S. government has not executed anyone since 2003.

States are scrambling to find a source of sodium thiopental because the company that manufactures it is stopping production.


YouTube, universities launch new media program

NEW YORK  — YouTube is partnering with universities to launch a new media program series for aspiring digital filmmakers.


The video-sharing website announced Thursday it would launch the YouTube Creator Institute with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and Columbia College Chicago. It says the schools will offer on-campus and online educational courses to its users so they can “hone their digital media skills and accelerate their YouTube careers.”

Course work will range from cinematography to social media strategy.

Classes begin in May. Inaugural classes at USC and CCC will have 10 students each. Applicants must be U.S. citizens at least 18 years old.

YouTube is owned by Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search leader Google Inc.


Dallas mayor sues city over release of police call

DALLAS  — Dallas’ new mayor has sued the city to try to prevent the release of police records related to a Jan. 2 disturbance call at his home.

Mayor Dwaine Caraway sought a temporary restraining order March 8 and a state judge agreed to withhold the records until a March 22 hearing to determine whether a temporary injunction should be granted.

Court records show that six requests have been made to city officials for details about the incident. No charges were filed.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled last week that the records must be released.

Caraway’s attorney, Michael Payma, says the material should be withheld because it involves an “intimate family-related matter” not of public interest.

Caraway became mayor last month after his predecessor resigned. He had been mayor pro tem.