Dec 5, 2017

Russia banned from next year's Winter Olympics

The Russian team enters the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Photo: Mark Humphrey / AP

Russia has been banned from participating in next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea as a result of an extensive, systematic state-backed doping campaign uncovered during 2014's Sochi Winter Olympics, per The New York Times. The report branded the penalties against Russia as "so severe they were without precedent in Olympics history," though Russian athletes with impeccable drug-testing records might be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

Why it matters: The decision will likely only serve to exacerbate tensions between Russia and the West as Russia routinely uses the Olympic Games to showcase its athletic prowess to the rest of the world. Case in point: Russia led the Sochi medal table — in both total medals and gold medals — before some of its medals were stripped under the investigation.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,703,686 — Total deaths: 393,393 — Total recoveries — 2,906,748Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,885,197 — Total deaths: 108,708 — Total recoveries: 485,002 — Total tested: 18,680,529Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. States: Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.