Topics : Russia on Thursday launched a probe into the Financial Times and the New York Times after the newspapers said local authorities could be vastly under-reporting deaths from the coronavirus in the country.State communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said it was studying the reports to establish whether they violated the country’s law against disinformation. Contacted by AFP, the watchdog did not say whether it planned to punish the media outlets. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanded that the FT and the NYT retract the “disinformation”, adding that formal letters had been sent to the newspapers’ editors-in-chief.”We see — and there is more and more evidence — that unfortunately certain forces in the West are seeking to use the current crisis in the world to discredit government efforts in a number of states, to destabilize the situation,” Zakharova told reporters.She said the FT and NYT stories were suspiciously similar and published the same day.Formal complaints will be also sent to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media; Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General and the UN secretariat, Zakharova said. There was no immediate comment from the FT, while the NYT said it stood by its report. “We’re confident in the accuracy of our story, which is based on publicly available government records and interviews with experts from government-run institutions. No facts in our story are in dispute,” The New York Times Vice President for Communications Danielle Rhoades Ha said in a statement.Russia has the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus cases but has registered 10 times fewer deaths than Britain, France, Italy and Spain.As of Thursday the country had 252,245 confirmed coronavirus infections and 2,305 deaths.Critics accuse Russia of under-counting the number of deaths to downplay the scale of the crisis. They say it is hard to believe that the country’s under-funded healthcare system is managing better than those in the United States and western Europe.Authorities have denied falsifying the numbers, saying they are only counting deaths caused directly by the coronavirus and that since the pandemic came later to Russia, it was able to learn lessons from the experiences of western Europe.
MMTC is bringing back its popular ‘Festival of Gold’ this Akshay Tritiya to celebrate the tradition of buying and gifting gold on this auspicious occasion. The prestigious miniratna will be catering to the city’s demand with its wide range of hallmarked gold and silver jewellery from different states of India, gold and silver medallions in various denominations, sterling silverware from its in-house brand Sanchi, collections of rashi stones, and the Government of India’s Indian Gold Coin and Indian Gold Bullion. The exhibition-cum-sale will be held from May 4-8 at the Community Centre, MMTC Colony, New Delhi. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSpecial attractions at this year’s Festival of Gold include silver medallions in 50 gm with coloured images of eight gods and goddesses and coloured silver replica of the INR 2000 note. MMTC is also introducing its bestselling 8 gm gold coin for the first time in 22 carats. The yearly event is known for its assurance of quality, transparency and excellence. Besides the main venue, the festival will also be held at MMTC’s sales outlets at Scope Complex on Lodhi Road, Cross River Mall in Shahdara, and Delhi Regional Office in Jhandewalan from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on all five days. To facilitate customer inquiries and interaction, MMTC has an all India toll free number- 1800 1800 000 (9 am– 9 pm).