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Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at a 2017 summit in Minsk. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/AFP via Getty Images

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko said Saturday his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, had pledged "comprehensive security assistance," as protests over last week's elections continue to sweep the country, per state news agency Belta.

Why it matters: The statement adds to tensions in Belarus, where authorities have cracked down on demonstrations over last Sunday’s presidential elections, which Lukashenko claimed to have won in a landslide but which has been widely viewed as rigged. At least one protester has died, hundreds have been injured and thousands have been arrested during the unrest. Many have been tortured, the Financial Times notes.

Go deeper: EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

"Unacceptable": Romney reacts to Trump's power transfer remarks

Sen. Mitt Romney during a July Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) reacted Wednesday night to President Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose November's election by saying to do so would be "unthinkable and unacceptable."

The big picture: "Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus," Romney tweeted. "Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable." Trump has repeatedly baselessly insisted that mail-in ballots would lead to widespread fraud and made unfounded claims that he'd only lose the election if it were "rigged."

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.