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DES MOINES — A bill that would re-establish the death penalty in Iowa has emerged in the Iowa Senate, but it’s unlikely to become law.A key member of the Iowa House who supports the concept of capital punishment tabled a similar plan last year. He concluded it costs taxpayers less to put someone in prison for life than to pay for years of legal challenges to a death sentence.Governor Kim Reynolds, when asked about the bill’s prospects during her weekly news conference, said Senators now have an opportunity to discuss the issue.“But there’s a lot of things that go into considering that and I haven’t seen any shift from where we were last year,” Reynolds said Wednesday.House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake doesn’t sense a death penalty bill is a priority for her fellow Republicans in the House.“Sometimes I hear from people: ‘I want to do this.’ ‘I want to work on this,’” Upmeyer told Radio Iowa and The Cedar Rapids Gazette. “I have not heard that, so I guess that would surprise me if that became an issue.”Another wrinkle in this year’s debate is an announcement last August from the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis said the death penalty is “inadmissable” and it’s the goal of the church to abolish capital punishment worldwide. Tom Chapman of the Iowa Catholic Conference said priests are talking about the issue in their parishes.“We don’t want to commit violence to try to protect people from violence,” Chapman told Radio Iowa.Twenty Republicans in the Iowa Senate are co-sponsoring a bill to impose the death penalty on those found guilty of kidnapping, raping and killing a child. It takes the support of 26 senators to pass a bill.Iowa abolished the death penalty 54 years ago.
WBO world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan say they have agreed to terms for a fight on April 23. The boxers’ promoters are yet to announce any details. Golden Boy Promotions, Khan’s promoter, didn’t reply to a request from The Associated Press on Sunday for confirmation. Pacquiao, who came out of retirement to win the WBO belt by beating Jesse Vargas in November, says on his Twitter account that he is fighting Khan because “this is what the fans wanted.” Pacquiao’s followers on Twitter recently voted for Khan to be the 38-year-old Filipino’s next opponent, ahead of Jeff Horn of Australia, Terence Crawford of the United States or Kell Brook of Britain. Khan hasn’t fought since stepping up to middleweight and getting knocked out by WBC champion Canelo Alvarez in May. He described the bout against Pacquiao as a “super fight.” Khan and Pacquiao used to be sparring partners under trainer Freddie Roach. Khan left Roach in 2012. April 23 is a Sunday, which suggests the fight could take place outside the United States or Britain. Pacquiao has previously said he would next fight in the United Arab Emirates.