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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…

Governor Perry approaching dubious mark for executions in Texas

Rick Perry (left) became Governor of Texas in 2001, and to date has presided over 231 executions, more than any other governor in American history.

After the death penalty was re-legalized in the USA on July 2, 1976, Texas resumed executions on December 7, 1982, and to date, has put to death 470 condemned inmates, including 6 (of the nation's 24) executions this year.

Below is a list of impending Texas executions in the weeks and months ahead; please note that likely before the end of this year, Rick Perry will have presided over (more than) half of all people executed in Texas.


date/name of impending execution---------# executed under Gov Perry------# executed in Texas since 1982


July 7--Humberto Leal---------------------------------232----------------------------------------471

July 20---Mark Stroman-------------------------------233----------------------------------------472

Aug. 10--Martin Robles-------------------------------234-----------------------------------------473

Aug. 18--Larry Swearingen----------------------------235----------------------------------------474

Aug. 23--Randall Mays--------------------------------236----------------------------------------475

Aug. 30--Ivan Cantu-----------------------------------237----------------------------------------476

Sept. 13--Steven Woods------------------------------238----------------------------------------477

Sept. 15--Duane Buck--------------------------------239----------------------------------------478-----50%

Sept. 20--Cleve Foster-------------------------------240----------------------------------------479

Sept. 21--Lawrence Brewer--------------------------241----------------------------------------480 under Gov. Perry

NOTE: A Texas governor can only commute a death sentence if the 7-member Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles makes a favorable recommendation of clemency. Otherwise, a governor could issue a 1-time 30-day stay of execution for a condemned inmate. In the 230 executions carried out thus far under Rick Perry, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has recommended clemency for a condemned inmate only 1 time, by a 6-1 vote for Kelsey Patterson; Gov. Perry, who is not bound to follow a clemency recommendation, rejected it and Patterson was put to death.

Source: Rick Halperin, June 26, 2011
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