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Hard Numbers: Iranian schoolgirls poisoned, Macron declares Françafrique “over,” Biden tries to tackle fraud, a rare miracle in southern Turkey

A young woman lies in hospital after reports of poisoning at an unspecified location in Iran in this still image from video from March 2, 2023.

A young woman lies in hospital after reports of poisoning at an unspecified location in Iran in this still image from video from March 2, 2023.

Reuters

17: The Iranian government says it’s investigating a spate of alleged poisonings of schoolgirls, with at least 17 hospitalized in Tehran and elsewhere this week, adding to the hundreds of girls hospitalized in recent months. Masih Alinejad, who recently appeared on GZERO World, says that many Iranians believe the Islamic Republic is behind the attacks and is using them to punish school girls who recently came out in droves to protest the government.


4: “The age of Francafrique is well over,” President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday as he began a four-nation tour to Gabon, Angola, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Macron said he’ll continue to pull French troops from the region in the coming months after withdrawing soldiers from Mali and Burkina Faso last year.

1.6 billion: President Joe Biden on Thursday asked Congress to approve $1.6 billion to combat fraud related to pandemic relief programs. The White House faced mounting criticism after swindlers took advantage of its generous $5 trillion COVID-era stimulus.

23: Good news alert! Alex the dog was found alive under rubble in Hatay, Turkey, 23 days after a deadly earthquake decimated southern Turkey and northern Syria. Watching Alex lick the ear of his rescuer is a rare joy.

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