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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

Belarus to host European Games in 2019

Alexander Lukashenko is the President of Belarus, in office since 20 July 1994.
Alexander Lukashenko is the President of Belarus, in office since 20 July 1994.
The 2019 European Games will take place in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

The Netherlands was originally chosen to stage the second edition of the multi-sports event, but pulled out days before the inaugural 2015 Games in Baku, Azerbaijan for financial reasons.

Minsk was the sole candidate for the 2019 edition, where about 6,000 athletes will compete across 20 sports.

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko told the European Olympic Committee to "count on Belarus".

"We are not a superpower but we pay a lot of attention to sport," he added.

Baku spent $1.2bn (£700m) preparing for its hosting of the first European Games.

Despite calls by the Danish Olympic Committee to postpone the decision due to a lack of clarity over financing, the motion was passed easily with 43 Olympic committees voting in favour of Minsk.

In 2018, Scotland and Germany will co-host the inaugural European Sports Championships - another multi-sports event.

The championships in Glasgow and Berlin is to feature athletics, cycling, rowing, swimming and triathlon.

Source: BBC News, October 21, 2016

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