Do Svidaniya, Alexei Navalny

Happy Tuesday! Nikki Haley’s campaign signaled yesterday she will deliver a speech this afternoon in Greenville, South Carolina, to “address the state of the presidential race.” While some have speculated that the former governor will be dropping out of the race, our bet is that she’s simply dropping her rebuttal to the Trump high-top sneakers.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The U.S. proposed a draft Gaza ceasefire resolution to the United Nations Security Council, multiple outlets reported on Monday. The document calls for a temporary ceasefire “as soon as practicable,” the return of all hostages taken by Hamas, and an increase in the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza. The resolution also voices criticism of Israel’s planned ground offensive into the enclave’s southern city of Rafah, saying that “under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries.” The draft came after Algeria requested a vote over the weekend on an immediate ceasefire resolution that U.S. officials suggested they’d veto.
  • Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a missile strike targeting a Belize-flagged and British-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden on Monday, seriously damaging the vessel and forcing the crew to abandon ship, according to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations Center. The Iranian-backed militants claimed in a statement that the ship is now in danger of sinking. Also on Monday, the U.S.-designated terrorist group said that it had shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone flying off the coast of Yemen, though U.S. officials have yet to publicly confirm the downing. Over the weekend, the U.S. military conducted five self-defense strikes against the Houthis, targeting anti-ship missiles and unmanned surface and underwater vessels.  
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, signed into law new legislative maps for his state on Monday, giving Democrats the chance to take control of the Republican-dominated legislature. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the new maps include 45 Democratic-leaning and 46 Republican-leaning state assembly districts and eight swing districts, while 14 of the new state Senate districts are Democratic-leaning, 15 are Republican-leaning, and four are competitive. Under the current maps, Republicans control 64 of the 99 assembly seats and 23 of the 33 Senate seats. “Wisconsin is not a red state or a blue state—we’re a purple state, and I believe our maps should reflect that basic fact,” Evers said yesterday. The new maps came after the Wisconsin Supreme Court—control of which was flipped last year by the election of liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz—ruled in December that the old districts violated the state’s constitution for not being contiguous. 

A Devastating Blow for Russia’s Opposition

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends an opposition march in memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow on February 25, 2018. (Photo by VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP via Getty Images)

When CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked in late 2020 if he thought he’d be targeted upon returning to Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navalny responded with chilling honesty. “I don’t think that I can have such a privilege—being safe in Russia,” he said. “But I have to go back because I don’t want these groups of killers [to] exist in Russia. I don’t want Putin be ruling of Russia. I don’t want him being president. I don’t want him being czar of Russia because, well, he’s killing people.”

On Friday, Russian prison authorities announced that Navalny, age 47, had died in the Siberian penal colony where he was being held.

The announcement of Navalny’s death in a prison north of the Arctic Circle on Friday was both expected and shocking—a consistent target of Russian persecution, he had frequently outrun or outsmarted his tormenters in recent years. Though the Kremlin denies all involvement in his death, Navalny’s family and supporters—including U.S. President Joe Biden—accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of murdering the opposition leader who had posed perhaps the greatest threat to Putin’s iron grip on power.

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