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Kimia Alizadeh celebrates after defeating Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden during the Women's -57kg bronze medal taekwondo contest at the 2016 Olympics. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Kimia Alizadeh, the first and only Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal, announced on Instagram Saturday that she has permanently left her home country, condemning the Iranian government for its "corruption and lies."

What she's saying: The 21-year-old Alizadeh, who won the bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, said she would always remain a "daughter of Iran," but that she could no longer sit at the regime's "table of hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery," according to a CNN translation.

  • "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years," Alizadeh wrote.
  • "They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said. Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me."

The big picture: Alizadeh's defection comes at a fraught moment for the Iranian government, which is facing growing domestic unrest over the downing of a Ukrainian commercial jet last week. Protests roiled the country this weekend, with many demonstrators calling for the resignation of top officials — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Go deeper: Iran's 3 catastrophic mistakes

Go deeper

21 mins ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.