Headlines edition

Friday headlines: Government of the Microsoft Paint people

Kazakhstan orders security forces to "fire without warning" amid a crackdown on anti-government protests. / BBC News

The situation presents Russia with another opportunity to reassert influence in its former Soviet domain. / The New York Times

When Putin issues demands down the barrel of a gun, "it should stiffen the resolve both of the West and of the resilient Ukrainians to deter and resist him." / The Economist

Ireland's parliament buildings are combating a persistent pest problem. / The Irish Examiner

A South Korean presidential candidate wants hair regrowth treatments to be covered by health insurance. / The Associated Press

Doctors have a variety of Covid-19 treatments, but setbacks and shortages are undercutting options. / STAT

Silicon Valley groups are putting big money behind efforts—some with roots in the pandemic—to change how science is funded. / Endpoints

A Texas team devises a cheap Covid-19 vaccine, and a manufacturer has already sold 300 million doses to the Indian government. / Goats and Soda

Unrelated: The late Texas sculptor Robert Bruno's unfinished home, "his life's passion project," is likely to become a vacation rental. / Texas Monthly

In the early 19th century, "love of the fatherland" was one of the few acceptable forms of being political available to women. / Lapham's Quarterly

A Chinese man, kidnapped as a child, finds his birth mother by sharing a map online drawn from memories of the village where he was born. / The Guardian

See also: A collection of postcards where people, most of them wearing red shirts, stare at things. / Flickr

A bizarre new county seal for Missouri's St. Francois County—"a Photoshop atrocity"—features a flag, an eagle, and a book with a giant cross. / Hyperallergic

Director Steven Soderbergh seems to do nothing but read books and watch movies all day, assuming this list is accurate. / Ext765

There's a season of super-champions on Jeopardy! right now—possibly because the contestant pool has gone professional. / The Ringer

A Czech tennis player joins Novak Djokovic in immigration detention after having her visa canceled. For on-the-ground reporting, try The Age's Paul Sakkal. / ESPN, Twitter

Before tennis there was Real Tennis, which involved a lot of "bad luck, comedy, and silliness." / Engelsberg Ideas