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Hard Numbers: Myanmar's dead, Cuban rappers vs the state, Ukraine's diplomatic smugglers, Sarkozy's jail time

People attend the funeral of a woman who was shot dead yesterday while police were trying to disperse an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
18: A week after threatening protesters with a severe crackdown, Myanmar's ruling junta killed at least 18 people across the country in the bloodiest day of clashes since the generals staged a coup last month.

16: Smuggling cheap cigarettes out of Ukraine has long been a favored racket for local criminals, but now diplomats are getting in on the action too: Ukrainian border guards on Sunday pinched some of their own envoys trying to bring thousands of packs of smokes into neighboring Poland, along with tens of thousands of dollars, and 16 kilos of gold.

3: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to three years in prison for corruption and influence-peddling. Although he'll serve just one year — and under house arrest — he'll still be the first former French president to do time: in 2011 Jacques Chirac was convicted of misusing public funds during his days as Paris mayor, but he got a suspended sentence.

2.6 million: A new hip-hop anthem starkly denouncing Cuba's dictatorship has gotten 2.6 million YouTube views since its release in mid-February. "It's done," says one line of the song by several Cuban recording artists, "we have no fear, the deception is over, it's been 62 years of damage." Cuba's president denounced the song -- whose title "Homeland and Life" deliberately reworks Castro's slogan of "Homeland or Death!" — as an attempt to erase the legacy of the revolution.


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