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Early Voting Kicks Off In Georgia With Long Lines | NBC Nightly News – NBC News

  1. Early Voting Kicks Off In Georgia With Long Lines | NBC Nightly News  NBC News
  2. Long lines on first day of early voting in Georgia: 11Alive News Primetime  11Alive
  3. Georgians are waiting hours to cast their ballots on the 1st day of early voting  The Week Magazine
  4. Massive lines mar start of in-person early voting in Georgia  CNN
  5. Early voting begins in Georgia with long lines, high turnout  NBC News
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

Facebook bans Holocaust denial posts, reversing original stance

Facebook today announced it will remove any content posted on the platform that “denies or distorts the Holocaust.” This is a reversal of a legendary laisse-faire policy from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and is reportedly done as part of a site-wide crackdown on anti-Semitism. Monika Bickert, Facebook‘s VP of Content Policy, said in a company blog post that this was motivated in part by the rise in anti-Semitism around the world. She says the company has seen an “alarming level of ignorance” on the topic, and cites a disquieting survey result: “According to a recent survey of adults in the US…

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Belarus Allows Police to Use Firearms Against Protesters

Belarus’ government says police will now be permitted to use firearms against protesters “if need be” as demonstrations demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko continued Monday.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement Monday that the rallies “have become organized and extremely radical.”

“In this regard, the Interior Ministry’s employees and internal troops will not leave the streets and, if necessary, will use special equipment and military weapons,” it said.

The ministry also announced Monday that more than 700 people were detained in demonstrations a day earlier. It said that of those detained Sunday, 570 of them were still in custody awaiting a court hearing.

More than 2,000 mostly elderly people took part Monday in a “march of pensioners” against the government in the capital, Minsk. They chanted “go away” and some waved flags symbolizing the opposition.

Videos from the demonstration showed police responding with flare guns and tear gas.

Large protests have taken place each weekend since Lukashenko claimed victory in a disputed Aug. 9 election. Demonstrators have demanded his resignation as well as the release of political prisoners. 

Riot police clashed with protesting pensioners in central Minsk, Belarus, Oct. 12, 2020.

Earlier Monday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on Lukashenko as well as other senior officials.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting of EU foreign policy chiefs in Luxemburg, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that renewed violence against protesters in Minsk could not be ignored.

“The violence continues, perpetrated by the Lukashenko regime — there are still arrests of peaceful demonstrators, so we have to consider how to proceed,” Maas, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said.

“I have suggested that we establish a new package of sanctions. And Lukashenko should be among the people who will then be sanctioned,” Maas said.

The EU had previously imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 40 Lukashenko allies, but did not include Lukashenko in the list.

On Saturday, Lukashenko held an unusual meeting with jailed opposition leaders.

“The goal of the president was to hear everyone’s opinion,” his office said of the visit.

Lukashenko’s main opposition candidate in the election, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, is now based in Lithuania after fleeing Belarus for her safety. 

Lukashenko maintains he won the poll in a landslide — garnering 80% of all ballots — despite widespread claims at home and abroad that the vote was heavily rigged to keep him in power. He has been in office for 26 years.  

Public anger has grown over the crackdown in the wake of the protests that have seen more than 7,500 arrests and police violence against demonstrators.    

Hundreds have emerged from police custody with bruises and tales of torture at the hands of Lukashenko’s security agents. 

Lukashenko has said the protests are encouraged and supported by the West and accused NATO of moving forces near Belarusian borders. The alliance has denied the accusations.