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The Leader of Europe's 'Last Dictatorship' Is Facing an Unprecedented Challenge. Here's What It Could Mean for Belarus

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Europe’s longest serving leader Alexander Lukashenko has long worked hard to seem invincible. He has dominated past elections that the U.S. has deemed neither free nor fair and brokered no dissent and suppressed protests. Now, he is facing an unprecedented challenge as he runs for a sixth term as president of Belarus in elections on August 9. A former teacher and political novice, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has emerged as his main rival, pledging to topple Lukashenko’s regime and restore democracy.
Tens of thousands have rallied across Belarus in some of the country’s biggest opposition protests in a decade, amid mounting frustration over the government’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis, combined with grievances about the economy. Referring to Lukashenko, protestors chanted ‘stop the cockroach’ and held placards reading ‘change!’.
“For the first time in his 26-year rule, Lukashenko knows the majority don’t support him,” says Aleksandr Feduta, a former aide to the incumbent, who was i…

U.S. elections: The Candidates on the Death Penalty

Hillary Clinton : Clinton has been a longtime advocate of the death penalty. Clinton cosponsored the Innocence Protection Act of 2003 which became law in 2004 as part of the Justice for All Act . The bill provides funding for post-conviction DNA testing and establishes a DNA testing process for individuals sentenced to the death penalty under federal law. As first lady, she lobbied for President Clinton's crime bill, which expanded the list of crimes subject to the federal death penalty.

Barack Obama : Obama says the death penalty "does little to deter crime" but he supports it for cases in which "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage." While a state senator, Obama pushed for reform of the Illinois capital punishment system and authored a bill to mandate the videotaping of interrogations and confessions.

John Edwards : Edwards supports the death penalty, saying some crimes "deserve the ultimate penalty." He was a supporter of capital punishment reform while in the Senate and told the Associated Press in 2004 he believes that "we need reforms in the death penalty to ensure that defendants receive fair trials, with zealous and competent lawyers, and with full access to DNA testing."

Dennis Kucinich : Kucinich opposes the death penalty. He says, "Morally, I simply do not believe that we as human beings have the right to 'play God' and take a human life – especially since our human judgments are fallible and often wrong." Kucinich says that his position on the death penalty is "derived from my moral and spiritual convictions."

Chez les Républicains...

Rudolph Giuliani : Giuliani favors the death penalty and has advocated for capital punishment for those who commit treason against the United States. He testified in convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui's death penalty trial and urged prosecutors to pursue the death penalty against American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh. Giuliani has said the death penalty is "justified and [an] effective deterrent for other people doing the same thing."

Source : The Candidates On the Death Penalty

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