A COVID Surge Is Overwhelming U.S. Hospitals, Raising Fears Of Rationed Care
The U.S. health care system is again buckling under the weight of a COVID-19 surge that has filled more than 100,000 hospital beds nationwide and forced some states to consider enacting "crisis standards of care" — a last resort plan for rationing medical care during a catastrophic event.
The idea is an alarming sign of how the delta variant has ripped through large swaths of the country — primarily sickening the unvaccinated and straining an already depleted health care workforce.
In recent weeks, more than 10 states have reached their highest hospital admissions for COVID-19 of the pandemic, from the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest. And the U.S. continues to average more than 160,000 new coronavirus cases a day.
"We're in a very dangerous place, given the level of our surge," says Dr. Bruce Siegel, president of America's Essential Hospitals, a trade group that represents hundreds of public hospitals.
Suspected thief of winning scratchcard stopped at Rome airport
Border police at Rome’s main airport have prevented a Naples tobacco shop owner suspected of running off with a customer’s winning game ticket from boarding a flight to the Canary Islands, Italian news reports said.
The man did not have the filched card worth €500,000 (£429,000) on him, but he did have a plane ticket for Fuerteventura, the LaPresse news agency said on Sunday.
The man, who has not been identified, was wanted for investigation of suspected theft. He allegedly snatched the ticket and dashed off on his motor scooter after the customer on Friday had asked the shop in a working-class district of Naples to verify the win, which is the top prize.
An elderly woman had purchased two “scratch and win” cards and asked a shop employee to verify the win. The employee then passed the card to one of the shop’s owners for a final check, Italian news reports said. But instead he allegedly kept the card and raced off on his motor scooter through Naples.
Guinean soldiers claim to have seized power in coup attempt
An elite army unit has announced it has seized power in the west African country of Guinea, deposed the president, Alpha Condé, and imposed an indefinite curfew.
After heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry, on Sunday morning, soldiers announced the country’s leadership had been deposed in the latest political upheaval to beset the mineral-rich and impoverished nation.
Col Mamadi Doumbouya, the head of the unit and leader of the apparent coup, sat draped in the country’s flag during a brief address on the national broadcaster, Radio Television Guinea, and said the country’s parliament and constitution had been suspended and the borders shut.
“We are taking our destiny in our own hands,” he said, further criticising the state of the country under the 83-year-old president. “The personalisation of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people.”
Rich countries to have 1.2bn surplus COVID vaccine doses
Wealthy countries could potentially have a surplus of more than one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses available by the end of the year that are not designated as donations to poorer nations, according to a new analysis
Vaccine stock in Western countries has reached 500 million doses this month, with 360 million not earmarked for donations, according to new research by data analytics firm Airfinity. By the end of the year, these countries will have a potential of 1.2 billion surplus vaccine shots, with the overwhelming majority – 1.06 billion – not marked for donations, it said.
Vaccine inequality has been denounced by many prominent health figures and officials. COVAX, the UN-backed global vaccine-sharing scheme, had initially aimed to provide two billion vaccine doses to people in 190 countries this year – including 92 lower-income countries – ensuring at least 20 percent of populations are vaccinated.
Panjshir resistance leader says ready for talks with Taliban
Ahmad Massoud, leader of the opposition group National Resistance Front (NRF) resisting Taliban forces in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, has said he welcomes proposals from religious scholars for a negotiated settlement to end fighting in the region.
“To reach a lasting peace, the NRF is ready to stop fighting on condition that Taliban also stop their attacks and military movements on Panjshir and Andarab,” Massoud wrote on Facebook on Sunday, referring to a district in the neighbouring province of Baghran.
Heavy fighting continued between the Taliban and resistance forces in Panjshir Valley as the armed group tried to seize the last holdout province.
Resistance fighters said on Sunday that they captured hundreds of Taliban troops as well as their equipment and vehicles.
Canada opposition leader, under pressure, scraps vow to end assault-weapon ban
VANCOUVER, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The head of Canada's opposition Conservatives on Sunday scrapped a campaign promise to eliminate a ban on some assault weapons after Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused him of cozying up to the gun lobby.
Conservative leader Erin O'Toole has been under pressure from critics ahead of the Sept. 20 election because of his party's position on gun control, a sensitive issue in Canada, especially following crimes including a deadly 2020 shooting rampage in Nova Scotia.
Liberal governments over the years have tightened gun laws, which are stricter than those in the United States. Canada's rate of gun violence is significantly lower than that of its southern neighbor.
White nationalist Richard Spencer's life is in shambles and he's broke as his Charlottesville trial looms: NYT
According to a report in the New York Times, neo-Nazi Richard Spencer -- once riding high as the face of white extremists who previously supported Donald Trump -- has seen his life collapse in the years since the Charlottesville protests that led to one woman losing her life. In a deep dive into how that city of Whitefish, Montana became a hot-bed of extremism that led to locals pushing back, Spencer is Exhibit A demonstrating how white nationalists are being shunned and driven from town by locals.
According to Williamson's report, "Leaders in Whitefish say Mr. Spencer, who once ran his National Policy Institute from his mother's $3 million summer house here, is now an outcast in this resort town in the Rocky Mountains, unable to get a table at many of its restaurants. His organization has dissolved. Meanwhile, his wife has divorced him, and he is facing trial next month in Charlottesville, Va., over his role in the deadly 2017 neo-Nazi march there, but says he cannot afford a lawyer."
New York Times
Thai Protesters Are Back, and Angrier, as Government Fumbles on Covid
With more than 12,000 dead, few vaccinated and the economy in shambles, demonstrations against the authorities have become a daily event.
BANGKOK — In air heavy with monsoonal pressure and discontent, the riot police in Bangkok unleashed rubber bullets and tear gas. Tanat Thanakitamnuay, the scion of a real estate family, stood on a truck, where he had been excoriating Thailand’s leaders for their bungled response to the pandemic.
Then a hard object, perhaps a tear gas canister, struck his right eye, tearing his retina. Mr. Tanat, who once supported the 2014 coup that brought Prayuth Chan-ocha, now the prime minister, to power, says the injury on Aug. 13 cost him his vision in the eye.
This year, more than 12,000 people in Thailand have died of Covid-19, compared to fewer than 100 last year. The economy has been ravaged, with tourism all but nonexistent and manufacturing slowed.