-- Your look at the five biggest and most buzz-worthy stories of the morning.
1. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began in Arizona
An inmate's execution with lethal drugs in Arizona Wednesday took almost two hours as witnesses reported the man gasped and snorted, prompting his lawyers to request an emergency halt to the procedure.
"The execution of Joseph Wood commenced at 1:57 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC)- Florence and he was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.," Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in a statement.
Wood's attorneys filed a motion for emergency stay of the execution after Wood was reported “gasping and snorting for more than an hour,” according to court documents they filed. Justice Anthony Kennedy denied the appeal about a half hour after Wood's death, the Associated Press reported. An AP reporter who witnessed the execution saw Wood gasp more than 600 times before he died.
2. Plane Carrying Teen on Round-the-World Trip Goes Down Near American Samoa
A teenage boy from Indiana who was flying around the world with his father in a single-engine plane was killed when their plane crashed near American Samoa. The father was missing at sea.
Babar Suleman and his 17-year-old son, Haris, took off from American Samoa this morning. The U.S. Coast Guard notified the family about the crash at sea this morning and said that it had found Haris Suleman's body and the plane's wreckage but had not located Babar Suleman.
The pair left on their around the world adventure June 19 from Greenwood, Indiana, to raise money for The Citizens Foundation, a nonprofit group that builds schools in rural Pakistan, the Indianapolis Star reported. Their stops included England, Egypt and Pakistan. They had hoped to "break the record for the fastest circumnavigation around the world with the youngest pilot commanding a private, single-engine airplane," the newspaper reported.
3. FAA Lifts Flight Restrictions to Israel
The FAA lifted restrictions on United States airline flights into and out of Israel's Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, the agency announced.
The flight restrictions were lifted at 11:45 p.m. EST.
The flight ban was issued Tuesday following a rocket attack within a mile of the airport.
4. Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Bid
Israeli tanks and warplanes are pummeling the Gaza Strip as U.S. and other diplomats push for a cease-fire with Hamas militants.
Gaza police said an infant boy was among those killed when Israeli fighter jets struck the Jabaliya refugee camp early Thursday.
Palestinian health officials said that 718 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since the conflict began on July 8. Israel has lost 32 soldiers as it has tried to halt rocket fire from Gaza and destroy cross-border tunnels. Two Israeli civilians and a Thai worker in Israel have also been killed.
5. Yankee Stadium Grounds Crew Battles Mother Nature, Loses
The skies opened over Yankee Stadium. A soaking rain fell in the middle of Wednesday’s New York Yankees-Texas Rangers game.
The grounds crew raced to cover the field, unrolling the tarp and pulling it across the infield dirt, which needs to stay dry in order to maintain proper playing conditions. Normally the whole process takes a minute or so.
This time, the process would take about 13 minutes.