Belarus elections and New York in crisis (E347)
The election in Belarus has turned into something of a farce. With the claim of an 80 percent victory for Lukashenko, the carrying out of standard democratic procedure was not characterized as “ideal” by either Russia or the West. However, there was much less interest from the media when two opposition candidates were kicked off the ballot altogether several months ago. Now, with an opposition coalescing around the wife of a liberal blogger, and demonstrators on the streets, the spotlight has been turned on the country. With the backdrop of the Belarusian government’s Trumpian response to the coronavirus pandemic, we asked Mark Sleboda, security analyst and international relations expert, what are Alexander Lukashenko’s intentions, what do the Belarusians want, and what’s next for Belarus?
New York has been devastated by Covid-19 and is now in the grip of not just a pandemic, but is seeing job losses nearing those of the Great Depression and rising levels of homelessness. With the support of unemployment benefits and the prohibition of eviction coming to an end, those who already live in cramped conditions and poverty are particularly vulnerable. Invariably, black and minority ethnic communities, including undocumented migrants, are disproportionately affected by this deteriorating situation. So, with the presidential election fast approaching, we asked Kayla Popuchet, NYC court specialist and Pulitzer Centre Fellow, whether the country is being divided by race or if New York, along with the rest of the US, is becoming divided into the haves and the have-nots.