Alaska races against time and history to fight the virus in the most remote villages.

In Alaska, where the Indigenous population has been ravaged by global disease outbreaks for generations, the pandemic has killed Alaska Natives at quadruple the rate of white residents.

The virus has taken hold in remote communities, setting up an urgent race between infections and vaccinations during a season in which weather can limit travel, the sun may only wink above the horizon, and large, multigenerational families are crowded indoors.

When the pandemic began a year ago, Alaska’s isolation was an asset that provided villages an opportunity to set up lockdowns, testing requirements and controls on travel.

But as the virus has slowly seeped across the state, the rising infections have demonstrated how quickly isolation can turn into a liability. In Pilot Station, a 37-year-old man died after weather prevented a medevac plane from reaching him. The virus has raged in some communities that have minimal sanitation, in some cases infecting more than 60 percent of residents.

Yet thanks to the steady supply of vaccines available to Native Alaska tribes and a sprawling delivery effort involving bush planes, boats, sleds and snowmobiles, 16 percent of the population has received a second dose of the vaccine, the highest in the nation. One of the regional operations, Operation Togo, harks back to the grueling 1925 sled dog run that rushed diphtheria antitoxin across the state to an outbreak in Nome.

The villages also have resources they lacked a century ago, when the 1918 flu wiped out more than half of some communities. A network of tribal health aides provide frontline health care and critical testing, treatment and telemedicine links with faraway hospitals — a network being considered for replication in the Lower 48.

But with the vaccine, there are extra challenges: Health crews must coordinate flights out to villages and arrange for someone to pick them up at the runway by vehicle or snowmobile. They need to make sure someone has started up the wood stoves to warm up the tribal halls where shots will be administered.

One team recently landed in a village as the temperature hit 61 below.

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What We Learned From Meghan and Harry’s Interview

Prince William was barely mentioned in the interview, but when he did come up, Harry said that their “relationship is space, at the moment.”

More than once, both Harry and Meghan drew distinctions between the queen and the rest of the royal family. They told stories of interacting with her during their time in London and after stepping back from their roles as senior royals. There was a decipherable shift in tone, however, when discussing others, particularly William; his wife, Kate Middleton; and Charles.

The tabloid stories came one after the other, Meghan said: About her diva-like behavior, about how she had bullied her staff, about her supposed rift with her sister-in-law, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Not only were they not true, Meghan said, but the royal family did nothing to correct them.

She came to understand, she said, that the royal family was “willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

In a particularly resonant example, she said, the tabloids reported, long after her wedding, that she had made Kate cry before the lavish event over the bridesmaid’s dress that Kate’s daughter was meant to wear. In fact, Meghan said, it was Kate who made her cry.

Kate apologized and sent her flowers, Meghan said. But when the tabloid reports came out, no member of the royal family made an effort to correct the record.

“I’m talking about things that are super artificial and inconsequential,” Meghan said. “But the narrative about, you know, making Kate cry, I think was the beginning of a real character assassination. And they knew it wasn’t true.”

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Underage Marriage Set to Rise as Covid-19 Crushes Dreams

RAPTI SONARI, Nepal — Sapana dreamed of becoming a government official. Each night, in her hut along a bumpy dirt road, the 17-year-old lit a single solar-powered bulb dangling from the ceiling and hit the books, plotting out a future much different than her mother’s.

But as the coronavirus crept across Nepal, closing the schools, Sapana lost focus. Stuck in her village with little to do, she struck up a friendship with an out-of-work laborer.

They fell in love. Soon they married. Now, Sapana has given up her professional dreams, with no plans to return to school.

“Things might have been different if I hadn’t discontinued my studies,” Sapana said recently, as she sat breastfeeding her 2-month-old son on the floor of her simple home. Her family name was withheld to protect her privacy.

Child marriage is increasing at alarming levels in many places, the United Nations says, and the coronavirus pandemic is reversing years of hard-earned progress toward keeping young women in school.

In a report released on Monday, the United Nations Children’s Fund predicted that an additional 10 million girls this decade will be at risk of child marriage, defined as a union before the age of 18. Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, said that “Covid-19 has made an already difficult situation for millions of girls even worse.”

forced by parents or other authority figures into marriage with older men. But child advocates also worry about the young women who, because of the pandemic’s impact, are drifting away from school and see early marriage as their only option, abandoning ambitions for an education and a better life.

Many child marriages are never registered. UNICEF estimates that 650 million girls and women alive today were married in childhood. Child advocates say they are seeing an upsurge in places where it has long been a problem, such as India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi, where teen pregnancies in some areas have tripled.

In Nepal, where the legal age for marriage is 20, the situation seems especially acute. Interlocking problems particular to the country and this moment make it difficult for many young women to avoid early marriage.

One of Asia’s poorest nations, Nepal relies on remittances and tourism. The pandemic has devastated both. Usually, at this time of year, foreign tourists head for the mountains to begin expensive treks into the Annapurna Range and up the slopes of Mount Everest. This year, the money that flows from them into so many layers of Nepal’s economy has all but dried up.

In 2019, Nepal earned $8.25 billion from foreign remittances. But with most of the world’s economies hurting, that remittance stream has also dwindled. Legions of young Nepali men, many of them single, have recently returned home.

Many others have lost their jobs in Nepal’s cities. A great number of young men now roam around their mountainside villages, bored and broke. That was how Sapana met her husband, Hardas.

Hardas, who said he was around 20, used to work as a traveling mason, often in cities such as Kathmandu and Nepalgunj. But after he was laid off in April, at the beginning of the pandemic, he came back to his native Rapti Sonari, a small town of about 10,000 people, 300 miles west of Kathmandu.

The houses are spread out in a maze of dirt roads beneath the hills. Most are made from mud and stone. Sapana’s father, Ram Dayal, bought an auto rickshaw right before the lockdown hit. Now he has monthly payments of 30,000 rupees, around $250, and almost no customers.

Mr. Dayal was not happy that his daughter married so young, but he conceded that her leaving the house helped ease his financial burden. He has five other mouths to feed.

“She would have had a better life if she completed 10th grade,” Mr. Dayal said.

Ghumni, his wife and Sapana’s mother, agreed. She, too, was a child bride and ended up with four children and zero education.

Activists who fight child marriage say they are working in the most difficult conditions they have ever faced, even as the problem worsens. Nepal has imposed harsh restrictions on vehicular movement. When infections surged, activists were confined indoors like everybody else. Several said that the number of child marriages in their areas had doubled or nearly doubled during the pandemic.

“We are at back to square one,” said Hira Khatri, an anti-child-marriage activist in the district that includes Rapti Sonari.

Two years ago, Ms. Khatri said, she intervened and stopped seven child marriages in her village. It did not make her popular. Many families in Nepal are eager to marry off their young daughters. Some villagers threatened to kill her, Ms. Khatri said, and they threw used condoms outside her house to humiliate her.

The police have not been much help. The officers based in villages have been much more focused on enforcing quarantine rules and keeping an eye on virus cases. Some police officials expressed a reluctance to get involved.

“These are serious criminal charges,” said Om Bahadur Rana, a police official in Nepalgunj. “If we file a case because of a child marriage, it could hurt the young people’s chance of ever getting a government job.”

Across central Nepal, many families shared stories of watching their daughters disappear into early marriages.

Mayawati, 17, who also lives in Rapti Sonari, dreamed of studying agriculture. But her family’s struggles during the pandemic made her feel guilty about being a burden to her parents. She dropped out of school, then married a man who worked as a menial laborer. Her dreams, too, have quietly slipped away.

“We have no money,” said Mayawati, whose last name was also withheld. “How was I supposed to continue my studies?”

Mayawati said that most of her friends who had married during the lockdown were now pregnant.

Some people in Nepal feel strongly about what they see as the benefits of child marriage. Several elders in the Madhesi community, based on the southern plains near the border of India, said they had falsified their daughters’ birth certificates to avoid getting in trouble.

“Marrying daughters in their young age has made me happier. It’s our practice,” said Mina Kondu, who said she recently doctored her 16-year-old daughter’s birth certificate, making her appear to be 19, which was still below the legal age but close enough, the family believed.

“The police cannot stop us,” she said.

Ms. Kondu, who lives in a village about three hours’ drive from Sapana’s, said that if the families didn’t arrange for their daughters to marry young, the daughters would do it anyway, without permission, and dishonor the family.

Sapana’s family has accepted her recent marriage. In the span of a couple months, Sapana has shifted from studying for school to taking care of her baby and her new husband.

She collects grass to feed the family’s four buffaloes.

She washes clothes.

She cooks rice and flat bread.

“I couldn’t complete my studies, that’s true,” she said. “My son will do that.”

And then she added, after a moment, “Hopefully, he will marry when he’s fully grown.”

Bhadra Sharma reported from Rapti Sonari, Nepal, and Jeffrey Gettleman from New Delhi.

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How to Watch Meghan and Harry Interview in California

The two-hour interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aired first on the East Coast on Sunday night.

Now, it’s the West Coast’s turn to enjoy the beautiful Santa-Barbara-adjacent setting and two hours of frank conversation. Here’s how you can watch:

  • You can also sign into a CBS app on your Apple TV or Roku, if you are a cable customer and can sign in with the cable provider’s credentials.

  • Here’s one way lots of people have successfully reported watching it: the new Paramount+ streaming service. It has a free one-month trial! That you can activate right now! Perhaps, arriving for Oprah, you will be tempted by the other offerings. Or perhaps you will cancel.

  • YouTubeTV subscribers, and subscribers to full packages like Hulu+ Live TV, should be able to watch through CBS directly as well.

And then! For once, England is getting the royal news last. The interview will be broadcast on ITV in Britain on Monday at 9 p.m.

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Meghan Markle Says She Sought Help Over Suicidal Thoughts

In an emotional and arresting disclosure, Meghan Markle described approaching Prince Harry and the royal family and seeking help with persistent suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy, after months of bullying from the press and being barred from leaving the house.

“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” she said. “And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember — I remember how he just cradled me.”

Meghan said she later asked a senior royal about the possibility of seeking inpatient care, and was told that would not be possible because it “wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

And that was that.

Meghan had surrendered her keys, driver’s license and passport upon joining the family. “I couldn’t, you know, call an Uber to the palace,” she said.

a podcast made by The Telegraph. He came “very close to total breakdown on numerous occasions, when all sorts of grief and lies and misconceptions are coming to you from every angle,” he said.

In 2019, he and Oprah announced a documentary about “mental illness and mental wellness,” which is to air on Apple TV+ later this year.

Harry later said mental health had played a key role in his decision to redefine his role in the family.

SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.

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Meghan and Harry Reveal They Are Having a Girl

In February, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they were expecting their second child, on the anniversary of Princess Diana’s announcement that she was pregnant with her own second child — Harry. On Sunday, the couple revealed they were having a girl, due this summer.

Their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born in May 2019. Late last year, Ms. Markle wrote in an Op-Ed for The Times that she had suffered a miscarriage. In the days after Archie’s birth, Ms. Markle was praised by many for her choice to not share the details of her birth on the stairs of the hospital where she gave birth, as has historically been expected of women who give birth in the royal family.

The couple’s first date was at Soho House in London in 2016 after a friend set them up on a blind date. They married in 2018 and remained in London until late 2019. The first months of their relationship included a network of friends who helped them keep it private until the global press found out they were together. Since then, their relationship has been complicated.

Throughout the course of their relationship the couple has dealt with scrutiny from the news media, particularly in Britain where they sued the tabloids who revealed letters shared between Ms. Markle and her father ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry.

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Meghan Recounts Conversations About Archie’s Skin Tone

Oprah seemed genuinely shocked by the revelation: Meghan offering a secondhand account of conversations Harry had had with his family on the subject of their then-unborn first child’s skin tone.

During the two-hour prime-time interview with Oprah that aired on Sunday on CBS, Meghan referred to them as “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be.”

Harry had been party to “several conversations” with “family” on the topic, said Meghan.

“About how dark your baby is going to be?” asked Oprah.

“Potentially,” said Meghan, “and what that would mean or look like.”

She declined to name anyone on the other side of the conversation: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”

royal wedding with all the trappings (plus some new ones, like a sermon from a Chicago-born Black bishop) was heralded by many as a sign the royal family was tip-toeing toward modernization.

Why, Oprah had asked Meghan, did the royal family express reluctance to eventually grant Archie, the grandson of the future sovereign, the title of “prince”?

“Do you think it’s because of his race?” Oprah asked.

Meghan’s answer left little doubt of her assessment.

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