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Alexey Navalny at a rally in 2019. Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Moscow court is expected to ban opposition leader Alexei Navalny's political and anti-corruption networks on Monday, effectively labeling them as extremist organizations, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Often described as "the man Putin fears most," Navalny has been a thorn in President Vladimir Putin's side for years. If all goes to plan, Monday's ruling at closed-door court hearing will be "he most sweeping attempt to crush the Kremlin's greatest political threat," per the Post.

The big picture: Support for Navalny has galvanized mass anti-government protests many times in the past. Just last Wednesday Russian authorities arrested over 1,700 people who protested in support of Navalny.

Details: The evidence being used by the prosecution remains a mystery, but Navalny's legal team is expected to receive access to the evidence file shortly before the hearing.

  • If the court bans Navalny's networks as extremist organizations they will be put on par with Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
  • Selling paraphernalia from the groups (like magnets) or retweeting their previous videos about corruption among Russia's elite, could all become jailable offenses.

What they're saying: “It reminds me of Soviet trials when someone was declared a spy or foreign agent and then there would be a secret closed trial,” said Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. “Putin is trying to take Russia back into the Soviet past.”

Go Deeper: Kremlin critic Navalny says he's ending hunger strike

Go deeper

Misinformation is just one part of a vaccine trust problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the first major pandemic in the social media era — offering experts a rare opening to study the relationship between online misinformation and human behavior on a large scale.

Why it matters: As misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines runs rampant, researchers are trying to measure how much memes and messages with false information can alter someone's decision to get vaccinated.

31 mins ago - World

Israel's "change bloc" collapses, leaving Netanyahu in charge

Bennett (L) with Netanyahu in 2015. Photo: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images

In a dramatic shift that comes amid fighting in the Gaza strip and clashes between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, right-wing kingmaker Naftali Bennett has announced he will no longer seek an alternative government to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why it matters: Bennett had been on the verge of a power-sharing deal with centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid that would have made him prime minister for two years until Lapid rotated into the job. Without Bennett, Lapid has no path to a majority, and Israel will almost certainly head for its fifth election since 2019 with Netanyahu still in his post.

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

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