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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: Clemency recommended for Death Row inmate Arthur Tyler

The Ohio Parole Board recommended to Gov. John Kasich today that convicted killer Arthur Tyler’s death sentence should be commuted to time served, making him immediately eligible for release from prison.

The entire panel voted 11-0 to grant clemency to Tyler, 54, of Cleveland, who is scheduled to be executed on May 28.

However, by 6-5 vote, the majority specified that Tyler should have “immediate parole eligibility.” The other five members said instead he should be parole eligible in two years.

The board said in a recommendation submitted this afternoon to Kasich — who will make the final decision on clemency — that “doubt exists as to whether Tyler is the principal offender in this case.” In addition, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor “now recommends mercy,” the board said.

“Given the doubt that surrounds the evidence, commutation to life without the possibility of parole would not serve the interests of justice in this case. Granting Tyler immediate parole eligibility would allow the board to immediately evaluate his institutional conduct and to consider other release suitability factors.”


Source: The Columbus Dispatch, April 29, 2014

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