Coronavirus: How Russia glosses over its Covid death toll – BBC News

“If Russia stops at 500,000 excess deaths, that will be a good scenario,” the now freelance demographer argues. He calculates that the current toll is pushing 450,000 – a giant leap from the 94,267 deaths published online on Friday by Russia’s Covid headquarters.

Even that lower number is rarely cited by officials, though.

“In Covid, you choose between the economy and people’s lives – mostly older people’s lives,” is how Alexei sees the government’s rationale. We met in a coffee bar – there’s been no lockdown here since Spring.

“The Russian state chose the economy. They won’t say it, but it’s obvious.”

Source: Coronavirus: How Russia glosses over its Covid death toll – BBC News

Spy To Lhasa — Weekend Stories by Trishikh

Snow Leopard crouched and huddled himself shivering in the piercing cold winds that danced all around him and the glowing woodfire that did its best to give a little warmth in the dead of night at an altitude of seventeen thousand feet close to the Lanak La mountain pass in the Himalayan region. His mission […]

Spy To Lhasa — Weekend Stories by Trishikh

Doctors Flee Crisis-hit Lebanon — Naharnet

US-trained emergency doctor Nour al-Jalbout wanted desperately to serve her fellow Lebanese, but less than two years after returning home she says the country’s catastrophes are forcing her to leave.

“I gave everything I had to Lebanon for these two years, but Lebanon is not giving back,” she says, her eyes welling up above three face masks, inside a top Beirut hospital.

“So I applied for immigration to the US,” she said, to take up a job offer at Harvard.

As soon as her visa is approved, she will join hundreds of doctors who are fleeing Lebanon’s political and economic crises, even during a pandemic.

Doctors warn a country once dubbed “the hospital of the Arab world” is haemorrhaging its best and brightest.

Hair tied back into a floral surgeon’s cap, the 32-year-old medic rushes around the bustling emergency department at the American University of Beirut Medical Center.

Her white coat streaked with blood from treating one patient’s gunshot wounds, she holds up an X-ray to understand the pain of another visiting from a nearby Arab country.

Source: Doctors Flee Crisis-hit Lebanon — Naharnet

Black and Hispanic Texans are still underrepresented in vaccinations | The Texas Tribune

Among the more than 5.86 million Texans vaccinated with at least one dose as of March 18, just under 41% of the recipients have been white, which is roughly in line with their proportion of the state population.

Meanwhile, Hispanics, who make up about 40% of the state’s population, account for just over 21% of people vaccinated in Texas. Black Texans, who make up about 13% of the state population, account for about 6% of people vaccinated through March 18.

Source: Black and Hispanic Texans are still underrepresented in vaccinations | The Texas Tribune

Texas official who defended fossil fuels after blackouts profits from oil, gas | The Texas Tribune

The father-daughter pair, who hail from Midland — the heart of the West Texas oil and gas boom of the past decade — own and manage land across the state that generated more than $100,000 from Texas’s largest natural gas producers in 2019, according to forms they submitted to the state Ethics Commission last year. The companies include XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, and Pioneer Natural Resources, both of which reported equipment failures during the winter storm. Source: Texas official who defended fossil fuels after blackouts profits from oil, gas | The Texas Tribune

Covid: Sister raises younger siblings alone after mum’s death – BBC News

Chelsea-Leigh and her mum Sarah Richardson “Mum was our everything, then all of a sudden she was gone,” she said.

Faced with the loss of their only parent, the 21-year-old went from big sister to the sole carer of her younger brothers and sisters – Kala-Jai, 19, Jayden, 17, Preston-James, 14, and seven-year-old Bobbee-Mae -overnight.

Chelsea was determined the five of them would not be split up, so she became the glue to hold them together.

She says: “I pulled my big girl knickers up and said to myself: ‘Come on Chels, you can do this. Be brave.’

“My mum raised us alone and always taught us that no matter what life throws at you, you’ve to dust yourself down and come back stronger. If I took myself away from the kids, where would they go? It just wasn’t an option. I had to make sure we all stayed together.”

Source: Covid: Sister raises younger siblings alone after mum’s death – BBC News

Paris and more than a dozen French areas to lock down for a month, says PM Jean Castex | Euronews (and continue to be stupid about limiting vaccines)

Sixteen regions in France including the capital will lock down from Friday for a month amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospital saturation.

Source: Paris and more than a dozen French areas to lock down for a month, says PM Jean Castex | Euronews