New York May Use The National Guard To Replace Unvaccinated Health Care Workers
New York state officials are bracing for staffing shortages when the state's health care worker vaccination mandate takes effect on Monday, and could be looking to the National Guard — as well as medical professionals from other states and countries — to help address them.
Gov. Kathy Hochul released a plan on Saturday, outlining the steps she could take to increase the workforce in the event that large numbers of hospital and nursing home employees do not meet the state's deadline.
"We are still in a battle against COVID to protect our loved ones, and we need to fight with every tool at our disposal," she said.
That could mean declaring a state of emergency to allow health care professionals licensed outside of New York, as well as recent graduates and retirees, to practice there. Other options include deploying medically trained National Guard members, partnering with the federal government to send Disaster Medical Assistance Teams to local health and medical systems and "exploring ways to expedite visa requests for medical professionals."
Israeli Troops Kill 5 Palestinian Gunmen In A Sweeping Crackdown Against Hamas
JERUSALEM (AP) — Five Palestinian gunmen were killed in shootouts with Israeli security forces during a sweeping West Bank arrest operation cracking down on the Islamic militant group Hamas on Sunday.
It was the deadliest violence between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks and came amid heightened tensions following this year's 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said two Palestinians were shot dead near the northern West Bank city of Jenin and three others were killed in Biddu, north of Jerusalem. The Israeli military said an officer and soldier suffered serious injuries during the arrest in Burqin, near Jenin, and were airlifted to a hospital for medical treatment.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that Israeli security forces in the West Bank moved against Hamas operatives "that were about to execute terror attacks in the very immediate future."
He said the soldiers in the field "acted as expected of them" and said his government gave them full support.
Women win majority of seats in Iceland’s election
Iceland’s national election has, for the first time, seen more women than men elected to a European parliament.
Final results on Sunday also showed the country’s ruling left-right coalition strengthening its majority.
Opinion polls had earlier forecast the coalition would fall short of a majority but a surge in support for the centre-right Progressive Party, which won five more seats than in 2017, pushed its total count to 37 seats in the 63-seat parliament Althingi, according to state broadcaster RUV.
Voters elected 33 women to parliament, up from 24 in the last election.
Iceland was ranked the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th year running in a World Economic Forum (WEF) report released in March.
Iceland no longer has more female than male MPs after recount
Iceland briefly celebrated electing a female-majority parliament on Sunday, before a recount produced a result just short of the landmark for gender parity in the north Atlantic island nation.
The initial vote count gave female candidates 33 seats in Iceland’s 63-seat parliament, the Althing, in an election in which centrist parties made the biggest gains. The result would have made Iceland the first country in Europe to have more women than men in parliament.
Hours later, a recount in western Iceland changed the outcome, leaving female candidates with 30 seats, a tally previously reached at an election in 2016. However, almost 48% of the total is still the highest percentage of female lawmakers in Europe.
Swiss vote overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage in referendum
Swiss voters have decided by a clear margin to allow same-sex couples to marry, in a referendum that brings the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe.
Official results showed the measure passed with 64.1% of voters in favour and won a majority in all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons.
Switzerland’s parliament and the governing federal council supported the “Marriage for All” measure, and pre-referendum polls showed solid backing. Switzerland has authorised same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.
Supporters said approval would put same-sex partners on an equal legal footing with heterosexual couples by allowing them to adopt children together and facilitating citizenship for same-sex spouses. It would also permit lesbian couples to use regulated sperm donation.
China's Xi warns of 'grim' Taiwan situation in letter to opposition
TAIPEI, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The situation in the Taiwan Strait is "complex and grim", Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote in a congratulatory letter on Sunday to the newly elected leader of Taiwan's main opposition party, who has pledged to renew talks with Beijing.
Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) elected as their leader on Saturday former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, who said he would rekindle stalled high-level contacts with China's ruling Communist Party.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty, even though most Taiwanese have shown no interest in being governed by Beijing.
In Xi's letter, a copy of which was released by the KMT, he said both parties had had "good interactions" based on their joint opposition to Taiwan independence.
COVID-19 pandemic cut life expectancy by most since World War Two –study
LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The COVID-19 pandemic reduced life expectancy in 2020 by the largest amount since World War Two, according to a study published on Monday by Oxford University, with the life expectancy of American men dropping by more than two years.
Life expectancy fell by more than six months compared with 2019 in 22 of the 29 countries analysed in the study, which spanned Europe, the United States and Chile. There were reductions in life expectancy in 27 of the 29 countries overall.
The university said most life expectancy reductions across different countries could be linked to official COVID-19 deaths. There have been nearly 5 million reported deaths caused by the new coronavirus so far, a Reuters tally shows.
"The fact that our results highlight such a large impact that is directly attributable to COVID-19 shows how devastating a shock it has been for many countries," said Dr Ridhi Kashyap.
Czech Republic: Historic military bunkers go on sale
The Czech army has been selling thousands of military bunkers that were intended to prevent a Nazi attack in 1938. In the process, a unique defense system of almost 5,000 fortifications is in danger of being destroyed.
In the late 1930s, what was then Czechoslovakia built an extensive network of fortifications along the border with what was then the German Reich. Prague feared that the Germans would launch a surprise assault and overrun the country's defenses before there was time to mobilize the army and reserves.
Although the fortifications were not fully completed by September 1938, together with the mountain ranges in the border area they represented an important hurdle for the Wehrmacht and one that the Nazi generals came to fear.
Some eight decades later, the concrete defenses continue to mark the Czech countryside, silent witnesses to the country's intention to go down fighting against the Nazis, if need be.
Since 2000, Czechoslovakia's legal successor, the Czech Republic, has been gradually getting rid of the fortifications. The Czech army can transfer them to regions or municipalities, as well as sell them to private individuals.
Thousands flee raging California Fawn fire as woman arrested with lighter in her pocket
Thousands of people have fled their homes to escape a wildfire engulfing a forest in California’s north, which authorities believe was sparked deliberately.
Police have arrested a 30-year-old woman on charges of igniting the Fawn fire. Workers at a quarry in Shasta County said they saw the woman trespassing last Wednesday before the fire erupted in a remote canyon, according to Cal Fire, the state’s forestry and fire protection department.
As firefighters battled the flames through the night, she walked out of the shrubs toward them, looking for medical help, the statement issued Thursday said.
Law enforcement officers interviewing the woman, whom the district attorney said at a news conference had a lighter in her pocket, later suspected arson.
Manta rays inspire new device to filter micro plastics (Link to video)
Wastewater treatment plants release microplastics into the environment, where they accumulate and pose a threat to wildlife. But by studying the way a manta ray feeds on plankton, scientists in the US have designed a filtration system that captures the tiny fragments without getting clogged.