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Russia

The Disturbing Reason Russia Has More Orphans

Russian doctors often push mothers to abandon disabled newborns to the state. The result is growing numbers of orphans, two years after Russia imposed a ban on American adoptions.

An abandoned child at Tzimbalin Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg
An abandoned child at Tzimbalin Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg
Olga Apelenova

MOSCOW — Russia's orphanage system is growing by about 6,000 newborns every year because of the rising number of parents who "refuse" their children in the maternity ward, typically because of disabilities.

"When my baby was born, I heard, "Look what you gave birth to,"" recalled one mother, Svetlana Doronina. "Those were the first words the doctor said. The doctor said I had given birth to a vegetable, that he would never walk or talk and that spending money on him was useless. We were not sent to Moscow for evaluation. And in order to get the free medicine I was entitled to, I had to write two articles in the local newspaper."

Doronina, from Volgograd Oblast in western Russia, was recorded on video and shown recently in a meeting of the Guardianship Council, overseen by Vice Premier Olga Golodets. And this isn't an experience she had in the 1990s: Her son was born in 2013. He suffers from hydrocephalus — a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain — as well as other related diseases, but the child has a chance because his mother didn't abandon him.

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Economy

The Bogus Concept Of "Carbon-Neutral" Oil

The Colombian president recently said that the country had exported one million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset oil. But in an unregulated carbon market, such a claim is pure greenwashing.

People walk in the streets of Bogotá

María Mónica Monsalve Sánchez

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ - In March this year, various national and corporate leaders met in Houston, Texas, for CERAWeek, an annual conference to discuss the world's energy challenges. Colombia's President Iván Duque took the opportunity to remind participants that his country produced just 0.6% of the world's carbon emissions even as it had raised crude production to one million barrels a day.

He said oil should not be seen as an enemy, since the fight was really against greenhouse gas emissions. He also revealed at the event that the country's national oil firm, Ecopetrol, had sold the Asian market its first million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset crude, consisting of the entire extraction, production and exportation chain.

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