The US has announced sanctions on seven Russian government officials and 13 Russian and European companies in response to the poisoning of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which a US intelligence assessment confirmed to be the work of the FSB.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was on Tuesday sentenced to more than two-and-a-half years in prison on charges that he violated probation while he was recuperating in Germany after being poisoned. Navalny was arrested on January 17 upon his return from Germany where he was treated after the attack with a nerve agent, which he has blamed on the Kremlin.
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'Neanderthal thinking': Biden lays into states lifting restrictions
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that moves by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others to lift statewide Covid restrictions showed 'Neanderthal thinking': “I think it’s a big mistake. I hope everyone has realized right now these masks make a difference," Biden said of the decision to lift mask mandates and other Covid mitigation measures. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms.”
No charges for man who displayed Klan flag next to Black neighbor's home
A prosecutor has declined to file charges against a man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window in suburban Detroit, next to the home of a Black family. Such “horrible conduct” doesn’t violate Michigan law, Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Tuesday, adding that an ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity.
Catholics should avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine
The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans urged Catholics against taking a vaccine for COVID-19 manufactured by Johnson & Johnson because the vaccine is developed from stem cells obtained from two abortions. In a statement on the archdiocese's website, the organization argued that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was "morally compromised."
Justice Department appeals order blocking federal eviction ban
The Justice Department is appealing a ruling by a U.S. judge in Texas blocking the federal eviction moratorium, the agency announced late Saturday, arguing that the ban remains broadly in effect in the meantime. The court in the Eastern District of Texas blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on Thursday, ruling that the federal government had overstepped its authority in imposing the sweeping ban. The decision “does not extend beyond the particular plaintiffs in that case, and it does not prohibit the application of the CDC’s eviction moratorium to other parties,” acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton argued. “For other landlords who rent to covered persons, the CDC’s eviction moratorium remains in effect."
Saudi prince approved Khashoggi murder
The Biden administration on Friday released a long-secret intelligence report concluding that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report reads.