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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Lukashenko: Belarusian state cannot go against people's will on death penalty

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
MINSK, 5 July (BelTA) – The Belarusian state cannot go against people's will in the matter of death penalty, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the plenary session dedicated to the formal opening of the 26th OSCE PA annual session in Minsk on 5 July, BelTA has learned. 

“We are urged to abolish the death penalty. We hear these recommendations, and not only hear them. However, not a single state can go against the will of its people when the overwhelming majority voted to preserve it in a referendum. No single civilized European country can do so,” Alexander Lukashenko stressed. 

The head of state emphasized that Belarus has been a target of such complaints since early years of its independence. The country was urged to hold a referendum on this issue. 

“As a young sovereign state, we followed your recommendations, held such a referendum and got results. Now we need time to abolish it. Therefore, please do not hurry us. We know what it is and what your requirements are. I am sure that we will gradually find a solution to the issue,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko talks about human rights, democracy in Belarus


Belarus is doing its best to make sure it is on par with other European countries in terms of human rights, rule of law and democracy, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the plenary session. 

“After gaining sovereignty, we set the goal to build a state for the people with opportunities for full and free development of every individual and high level of human rights protection,” Alexander Lukashenko said. 

The president touched upon the issues raised by parliamentarians, including human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. “We are doing our best to make sure we have no less of them than in other European countries,” he said. 

According to the president, the National Human Rights Plan, the first one in the history of independent Belarus, is a crucial element of the system ensuring the rights and freedoms. 

Government organizations and civil society are involved to the maximum extent possible in its implementation. The head of state noted that a lot has been done in the country for the people. Belarus has solved the problem of poverty. The country ensures a high level of social security of citizens and a minimum income gap. Everyone is guaranteed the right to receive education. In terms of the availability of education Belarus is not inferior to the most highly developed countries, he said. “Our state is among the world leaders in terms of healthcare, medicine. Every citizen, irrespective of income, has the opportunity to receive any kind of healthcare, including the high-tech one,” the Belarusian leader stated. 

On 3 July Belarus celebrated the Independence Day which is marked on the day Minsk was liberated from the Nazi invaders. 

“It symbolizes the historical continuity of the independent development of the country based on the principles of justice, socio-political stability, good neighborliness and multi-vector foreign policy,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Source: Belarus News, July 5, 2017

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