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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…

Ohio executes triggerman in murder-for-hire scheme

Ohio has executed the triggerman in a 1995 murder-for-hire scheme that killed a 66-year-old woman and severely injured her son.

33-year-old Jason Getsy was pronounced dead at 10:29 a.m. Tuesday in the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville.

Getsy was sentenced to die for fatally shooting Ann Serafino in a crime that targeted her son, Charles Serafino, in a dispute over a lawn care business.

Charles Serafino was shot 7 times but survived and witnessed Getsy's execution Tuesday.

Getsy becomes the 4th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Ohio and the 32nd overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1999. The state has at least 1 execution scheduled for every month through next February.

Getsy becomes the 36th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1172nd overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977.

Sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin, August 18, 2009

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