The United States has announced sanctions on Russians over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Navalny who is the most prominent critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin was sickened by the Russian nerve agent in an attack last year.
US officials said US intelligence had concluded that the Russian government was behind the attack on the 44-year-old Nalvany in Siberia.
They told reporters, the sanctions will target seven senior Russian officials and 14 entities involved in chemical production.
US president Joe Biden administration coordinated the sanctions with the European Union, which already had imposed sanctions against a small number of Russian officials in Navalny’s case.
While in a coma after the poisoning, Navalny was airlifted to Germany, where he recovered. He returned to Russia in January and was arrested on arrival.
A Russian court last month found that Navalny had violated the terms of his probation over an earlier embezzlement case, and imposed a prison sentence.
His detention sparked street protests across Russia. Police arrested thousands of demonstrators. Authorities have transferred the opposition leader to a penal colony to begin serving a sentence, after what rights groups said was a show trial.
India: Delhi Announces Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge
India’s capital city, Delhi, has announced a week-long lockdown effective today, Monday, after the city recorded a spike in number of infections that has now overwhelmed the city’s healthcare system.
Government offices and essential services, such as hospitals, pharmacies and grocers, are open during the lockdown.
Delhi recorded nearly twenty-five hundred cases of the coronavirus infections on Sunday alone.
India has been reeling from a deadly second wave since early April causing a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen supplies.
India has the fourth highest number of deaths after the United States, Brazil and Mexico – though, among a population of nearly one and a half billion.
Delhi state’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal says the healthcare system is at a breaking point, and if a lockdown is not put in place now, the country will be looking at a bigger disaster.
Families Reunite As Australia-New Zealand ‘Travel Bubble’ Begins
Hundreds of passengers from Australia have started arriving at New Zealand airports on Monday after authorities reopened borders, in a process that allows quarantine-free travel between the countries for the first time in more than a year.
New Zealand had enforced isolation for arrivals from its neighbour, citing concerns about sporadic virus outbreaks there.
New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern told reporters in wellington, this bubble marks a significant step in New Zealand’s reconnection with the world.
Ardern said Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and foreign minister Marise Payne would visit New Zealand very soon.
Boris Johnson Cancels India Trip Amid COVID Surge
British prime minister Boris Johnson has cancelled a planned trip to India, originally planned for next week, because of the rise in India’s COVID-19 cases.
India is enduring a second wave of the virus, with infections passing the 15 million mark.
Johnson had already postponed the trip once in January, when COVID-19 infections were high in Britain.
Now that the trip has been cancelled, prime ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India.
Britain has invited India to attend the G7 summit it will host in June.
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