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German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, likely for the final time. Photo: Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images

The U.S. and the U.K. imposed fresh sanctions on Russian officials and entities on Friday in response to the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which was carried out by Russian intelligence agents one year ago.

Why it matters: The West is seeking to maintain pressure on the Kremlin over its persecution of Navalny, who is serving out a three-year prison sentence for violating his parole while he recovered from the poisoning in Germany last year.

Driving the news: The new sanctions were announced as German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin for the final time, as she will step down after Germany's elections on Sept. 26.

  • The EU did not join the U.S. and U.K. in announcing new sanctions on Russia on Friday, but Merkel called on Navalny to be freed during her meeting with Putin.
  • Putin responded by claiming that Navalny had been imprisoned for violating the law, not for political reasons.
  • On the anniversary of his poisoning, Navalny — an anti-corruption activist frequently described as "the man Putin fears most" — published an op-ed in The Guardian calling on the West to sanction the oligarchs in Putin's entourage, rather than obscure Kremlin officials.

Details: The U.S. and the U.K. jointly targeted seven members of Russia's Federal Security Service allegedly involved in Navalny's poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok.

  • The U.S. also unilaterally sanctioned four Russian entities and two other individuals involved in Navalny's poisoning or the development of chemical weapons.
  • More details.

Go deeper: Russia accuses Navalny allies of funding extremist groups

Go deeper

Oct 5, 2021 - World

Senators call on Biden to expel 300 Russian diplomats over Moscow embassy ban

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

17 senators, including the top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, are calling on President Biden to expel 300 Russian diplomats if Moscow does not issue more diplomatic visas to make up for its ban on the U.S. Embassy hiring local Russian staff.

Why it matters: It would be the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in U.S. history and would mark a major escalation in tensions between the two countries.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.