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Monday
September 2020
6:38 AM IST
News Headlines
Burkina Faso striker Traore leaves Lyon for Aston Villa        AIFF to conduct three-day International Virtual Conference for coaches        Looking to play good brand of cricket to make this season a memorable one: KL Rahul        US stocks fall as market decline extends for third week        No decision to discontinue printing of Rs 2000 note: FinMin        Iran vows 'hit' on all involved in US killing of top general        Russia's Navalny says he's now more than 'technically alive'        Pak uses drone to weapons in J-K's Rajouri; 3 LeT terrorists arrested        Centre rejects study which claims India is world's largest emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide        Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan not implemented in Bengal as state did not provide any info: FM        Parliament's monsoon session likely to be curtailed, may end by mid-next week        Kerala reports 4,000 plus fresh COVID-19 cases for second day in row; Toll crosses 500        China flies 18 warplanes near Taiwan during US envoy''s visit        US bans WeChat, TikTok citing national security        IPL 2020: Dhoni''s CSK lock horns with Rohit led MI in opener        US Open champion Osaka out of French Open due to injury        NIA questions Ker Minister Jaleel for over 8 hours; No need for him to resign, says CM        Delhi riots: Police files charge sheet under UAPA against 15 for larger conspiracy        Serum Institute gets DGCA''s nod to resume testing of Covid vaccine again        Russia''s RDIF collaborates with Dr Reddy''s Laboratories for Sputnik V vaccine trials, distribution: CEO        
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International News
Belarus' leader wins sixth term with over 80% of votes
 
Minsk: Election officials in Belarus say the country's longtime authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko has won his sixth consecutive presidential term, taking over 80 per cent of the votes, according to preliminary results of Sunday's election that resulted in mass protests all over Belarus and a violent crackdown on demonstrators.

The country's central election commission announced on Monday that all the ballots have been counted and Lukashenko took 80.23 per cent of the votes, while his main opposition challenger Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya had only 9.9 per cent.

The announcement may exacerbate tensions with opposition supporters who believe the results of the vote were rigged.

Thousands of people took to the streets in a number of Belarusian cities and towns on Sunday night, protesting the early count suggesting Lukashenko's landslide victory.

Tsikhanouskaya, a former English teacher and political novice, rejected the official figures, saying I will believe my own eyes the majority was for us.

Her supporters quickly took to the streets of the capital to protest what they saw as official manipulation of the vote. They faced rows of riot police in black uniforms who moved quickly to disperse the demonstrators, firing flash-bang grenades and beating them with truncheons.

The brutal crackdown followed a tense campaign that saw massive rallies against Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet nation with an iron fist for 26 years. Lukashenko has not yet commented on the election results or the protests.

Several other cities across the country saw similar crackdowns on protesters. According to the Viasna human rights group, over 100 protesters were detained, with the number likely to be much higher.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova said that police efforts to restore order were continuing overnight, but wouldn't say how many people were detained. On Monday morning, Belarus' Investigative Committee opened a criminal probe into mass riots and violence toward police officers.

What has happened is awful, Tsikhanouskaya told reporters Sunday.

An AP journalist was beaten by police and treated at a hospital.

At Minsk's Hospital No. 10, an AP reporter saw a dozen ambulances delivering protesters with fragmentation wounds and cuts from stun grenades and other injuries.

It was a peaceful protest, we weren't using force, said 23-year-old protester Pavel Konoplyanik, who was accompanying his friend who had a plastic grenade fragment stuck in his neck. No one will believe in the official results of the vote, they have stolen our victory.

Konoplyanik, whose legs were also cut by fragments of police grenades, said he doesn't want to leave the country but fears that he might have no other choice.

Two prominent opposition challengers were denied places on the ballot, but Tsikhanouskaya, the wife of a jailed opposition blogger, managed to unite opposition groups and draw tens of thousands to her campaign rallies, tapping growing anger over a stagnant economy and fatigue with Lukashenko's autocratic rule.

Lukashenko was defiant as he voted earlier in the day, warning that the opposition will meet a tough response.

If you provoke, you will get the same answer, he said. Do you want to try to overthrow the government, break something, wound, offend, and expect me or someone to kneel in front of you and kiss them and the sand onto which you wandered? This will not happen. Three journalists from the independent Russian TV station Dozhd were detained after interviewing an opposition figure and were deported.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, whose assessments of elections are widely regarded as authoritative, was not invited to send observers.

Tsikhanouskaya had crisscrossed the country, tapping into public frustration with a worsening economy and Lukashenko's swaggering response to the pandemic.

Belarus, a country of 9.5 million people, has reported more than 68,500 coronavirus cases and 580 deaths but critics have accused authorities of manipulating the figures to downplay the death toll.

Lukashenko has dismissed the virus as psychosis and declined to apply measures to stop its spread, saying a lockdown would have doomed the already weak economy. He announced last month that he had been infected but had no symptoms and recovered quickly, allegedly thanks to playing sports.

Yet for some voters, Lukashenko's long, hard line rule was a plus.

He is an experienced politician, not a housewife who appeared out of nowhere and muddied the waters, retiree Igor Rozhov said Sunday. We need a strong hand that will not allow riots.


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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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'Game of Thrones' star Indira Varma tests positive for coronavirus
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KERALA NEWS
Take steps to attach properties of pvt financial institution; HC to govt
 Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to take steps to attach the
Kerala logs single-day highest spike of 3,830 COVID-19 cases
Jaleel has committed no wrong, says Kerala CM
"My hands are clean, not accepted any gift or money" Minister
NATIONAL NEWS
Pak uses drone to weapons in J-K's Rajouri; 3 LeT terrorists arrested
 Jammu, Sep 19 (PTI) Pakistan dropped weapons and some cash in Indian currency using a drone in Jammu
Centre rejects study which claims India is world's largest emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide
Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan not implemented in Bengal as state did not provide any info: FM
Delhi riots: Police files charge sheet under UAPA against 15 for larger conspiracy
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