The big news this week was the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in prison in Russia. Navalny was a complicated figure. In the past, he had expressed nationalist views, including making hateful comments about immigrants. These remarks, which he never renounced, were the reason the human rights group Amnesty International stripped him of his "prisoner of conscience" status in 2021 following complaints. Critics called the decision a win for the Russian state.

Navalny had undeniably come to symbolize and lead the anti-corruption, pro-democracy opposition to Putin's authoritarian government. He even developed an online tool called Smart Voting to increase voter turnout for opposition candidates.

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In 2020, Navalny survived a near-fatal poisoning with a nerve agent only after receiving treatment abroad. Despite the attempt on his life, Navalny returned to Russia in 2021 even under the threat of arrest. Predictably, he was imprisoned. He had been on a hunger strike for two weeks.

In the wake of his death, supporters risked arrest to honor him. THE NATION put out a piece analyzing what the future holds for Putin's opponents.

Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Was Brave, Authentic, Funny, Larger Than Life. Will His Movement Survive Him?
More than a politician, he became a talisman for Russia’s liberals.
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President Biden offered strong words against Vladimir Putin, widely understood to be behind Navalny's death, and called for more aid to Ukraine, which is defending itself from a Russian invasion. STATES NEWSROOM had the story.

Death of Russian dissident raises stakes for U.S. aid to Ukraine, Biden warns - Florida Phoenix
President Joe Biden urged U.S. House Republicans on Friday to approve funding for Ukraine after Russian dissident Alexei Navalny died in the custody of Vladimir Putin’s government. Speaking from the White House Friday afternoon, Biden said the death of Navalny, a persistent critic of Russian Preside…
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Former President Trump also marked the death of Navalny, reminding Americans that he's the real victim and doubling down on his Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Trump Has Finally Spoken on Navalny’s Death. You’ll Wish He Hadn’t.
Donald Trump’s first remarks about the death of Alexei Navalny are actually unhinged.
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Labor Rules

New York City's minimum wage law for delivery workers in December after an unsuccessful legal challenge by Uber failed. However, apps are not complying. DOCUMENTED offered a good explainer of the law and how workers can handle it if their employer doesn't pay.

New York’s Delivery App Minimum Wage Law, Explained - Documented
Delivery workers are now entitled to a mimum wage of $17.96 to $29.93 an hour. Here’s how the new law works and what to do if an employer isn’t complying.
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Unionized grocery store chains Kroger and Albertsons are merging. THE AMERICAN PROSPECT published a piece about why that's bad news for labor.

Why the Kroger-Albertsons Merger Will Harm Labor
The companies’ choice of an anti-union third party for its divestitures reveals why labor needs a seat at the table in merger remedies.
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The Sierra Club, the prolific environmental group run by Ben Jealous, is under fire for anti-labor practices. A union representing employees has accused the organization of trying to let their contract expire, force a strike, and then fire strikers in an effort to restructure the organization. THE NEW REPUBLIC had the story.

Union Accuses Sierra Club of Plotting to Fire Strikers
A union representing staff has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against management under Ben Jealous’s leadership.
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THE MAJORITY REPORT interviewed an Amazon labor organizer about the company's efforts to crack down on unionization efforts.

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COVID-19 Pandemic

International talks to create a treaty to prevent another COVID-scale crisis are collapsing thanks to the commitment of western countries like the U.S. to protecting the intellectual property rights of big pharmaceutical companies. JACOBIN had the story.

The West Is Sabotaging a Global Pandemic Treaty
International talks aimed at creating a treaty to prevent another COVID-19 catastrophe are nearing collapse. This impasse is due to the refusal of countries such as the US, Canada, and Germany to compromise on Big Pharma’s intellectual property rights.
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COVID is surging in Florida again as the JN.1 variant, THE FLORIDA PHOENIX reported. The DeSantis government, meanwhile, has been discouraging life-saving vaccination.

In 2024, Florida has seen nearly 100,000 COVID-19 cases as JN.1 variant spreads rapidly - Florida Phoenix
A month and a half into the new year, there have been more than 98,000 cases of COVID-19 in the state, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. At the same time, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the JN.1 variant is causing 92 percent of cases across the…
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