Russian officials bar opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president against Putin

On Monday, Russia's Central Election Commission voted unanimously to bar opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president in the March 18 election, clearing Russian President Vladimir Putin of any significant rivals in his bid for a fourth term. Navalny, an anti-corruption activist, would have needed special permission to run because he was convicted of fraud, in a case widely seen as political retribution for opposing Putin and highlighting corruption in his government.

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