A passenger on a flight from Hawaii to Utah suddenly went into labor over the Pacific Ocean. CBS2's Kristine Johnson reports.
- The Daily Beast
Samuel Rajkumar/ReutersNEW DELHI—With India ravaged by an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 virus—and its health-care system on its knees—some public health and former military officials are voicing outrage over the government’s apparent refusal to use the full force of the army to assist with the crisis.“The army is not being utilized to the fullest extent,” even though it has “tremendous capacities” to ease the current disaster, Deependra Singh Hooda, former chief of the Indian army’s strategic northern command, told The Daily Beast.For weeks experts have been pleading with the government, urging it to rope in the military to help with a health crisis never before seen in India’s modern history.Earlier this month, the deputy chief minister of the country’s capital, Delhi—which is facing the worst COVID situation in India—asked the defense minister to lend the services of the armed forces to help it set up and run COVID-19 health facilities. But the request was turned down, even after the local government reached out to Delhi’s high court, which claimed that Indian forces were stretched.Why Biden’s Push for Vaccine Patent Waivers Won’t Save IndiaWhile the army has set up a few hospitals and provided limited supplies of oxygen, most forces remain uninvolved even as the country’s health-care system is on the brink of collapse. India’s armed forces have around 13,000 officers who are medical professionals and an additional 100,000 medical support staff, whose expertise could save countless lives.“We are going through an emergency situation. The network and infrastructure of the armed forces need to be leveraged,” public health expert Anant Bhan told The Daily Beast. “It will minimize the loss of life.”The demand is being echoed after the top U.S. public health official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested last week that India should marshal all of its resources, including the armed forces, to handle the situation.For India, the army may be the last resort. On Wednesday, 4,205 Indians died of the virus, and 348,421 tested positive for COVID, pushing the total number of confirmed cases so far in the country to 2.5 million. The total death count climbed to 25,8351—which experts say is a massive undercount. Hospitals in the country have been running at capacity for weeks, and hundreds of people have died because they did not get oxygen in time.The downward spiral is showing no signs of plateauing anytime soon, with new variants toting up the intensity of India’s second wave, and the prospect of a third wave that is likely to follow. The virus is also rapidly engulfing India’s rural areas—home to 65 percent of the country's population—where health-care systems are even worse than in the already overwhelmed cities.Mass Grave Dug on Banks of Ganges for 100 Possible COVID Victims Found Floating Down River“This is the first time we have gotten into a situation like this,” General Ved Prakash Malik, former Indian army chief, told The Daily Beast. “There is scope for the civil administration to use the services of armed forces. Other than the medical services, engineering services can be utilized to set up quick infrastructure.”Even though most of India’s population is still struggling to get a first dose, India’s 1.5 million armed personnel were first to be vaccinated. This is one of the reasons why experts are pressing the demand that their services should be utilized quickly.“The army is trained to deal with such situations,” said General Hooda, “We have seen in the past, whenever there has been a crisis, you call the army to [help]. Not only are they trained, but they are very well equipped to handle the crisis.”Hooda says that the focus of the government has been mostly on utilizing the health services of the armed forces, but there’s much more it could do. “The army has tremendous engineering skills to build infrastructure,” he said. “If you need to build infrastructure, like hospitals, and other medical facilities in rural areas, the army can do it as quickly as possible.”Experts also blame the lack of coordination amongst civil authorities for worsening the crisis in the country, and say that it has created tremendous panic and stress among the public. One of the key areas, which most of the health officials and former military commanders agree on, is the need for a centralized communication system so that essential medical supplies are transported and utilized efficiently.“For communications, the army can set up war rooms and certain expertise of the commanders who manage these war rooms can help immensely,” said General Malik, who was head of the Indian army during the war with Pakistan in 1999.General Hooda agrees.“Some emergency links can be set up with a dedicated emergency centre… we have the Indian-wide Movement Control Organisation (MCO), which is used in wars to mobilize and track the military,” said Hooda, adding that that MCO could be utilized to keep track of essential resources like oxygen tankers. Besides engineering and communications, a large fleet of armed forces could also be employed for the transportation of medical supplies.“The armed forces have the capacity to create 100 field hospitals with 100 beds each,” Harcharanjit Singh Panag, a former lieutenant in Indian army, wrote for The Print. “With the help of private doctors, medical students and additional medical equipment, many more temporary facilities can be made operational in a short span of time. It is these resources which can be superimposed on the civilian hospitals to take on the overload.”Some believe that India is not using the services of the military because it would be an embarrassment for the civil government—an acknowledgment that they haven’t been able to handle the situation. Another reason cited is tensions at India’s borders with China and Pakistan, making authorities reluctant to transfer troops stationed there.A Right-Wing Demagogue Is Letting COVID Ravage His People“If the army is brought in it would be somewhat of an admission that [the civilian government] is not able to do this,” General Hooda said. “Second is, there is also talk that we need force preservation [at our] borders.”Last year, the Indian army cancelled its border exercise in Ladakh due to the first wave of the novel coronavirus. But around the same time, violent skirmishes took place when Chinese troops reportedly intruded into Indian land. Both countries reinforced their positions with tens of thousands of troops, and an altercation ensued, killing 20 Indians and an unknown number of Chinese nationals.Given the intensity of the crisis, it’s clear to much of India that there is no other option but to bring in the armed forces if the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to quickly take control of the situation.“The fact is, when you are facing a sort of national emergency, this idea of force preservation needs to be put on the backburner, ” Hooda said. “Once the army comes in, if nothing else, it could bring some degree of hope for people.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Associated Press
Israeli artillery pounded northern Gaza early Friday in an attempt to destroy a vast network of militant tunnels inside the territory, the military said, bringing the front lines closer to dense civilian areas and paving the way for a potential ground invasion. Israel has massed troops along the border and called up 9,000 reservists following days of fighting with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza. The stepped-up fighting came as communal violence in Israel erupted for a fourth night, with Jewish and Arab mobs clashing in the flashpoint town of Lod.
- Business Insider
Liz Cheney's likely replacement, Elise Stefanik, isn't nearly as conservative, but she tells 'MAGA tales about the election with gusto,' expert says
Cheney voted with Trump's position 93% of the time, while Stefanik voted with Trump 78% of the time, but he still endorsed her to replace Cheney.
- Associated Press
Jordan Spieth had his longest stretch all day of mere pars — a whopping four holes — on the besieged new home course of the AT&T Byron Nelson when the local favorite stepped over a 55-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th. Spieth, Spaun and plenty of others had little trouble with TPC Craig Ranch north of Dallas. Hideki Matsuyama sputtered on the front nine in his first appearance since becoming the first Japanese player to win the Masters, then stalled again after three straight birdies to start the back nine.
The move marks an escalation amid this week's ongoing violence between Israel and Palestinian militants.
- The Week
According to people who bet on royal baby names, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's soon-to-be-born daughter might be a "Philippa." The U.K. gambling site Ladbrokes "slashed the betting odds on the name to 3/1" following the death of Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip, last month, People reports, noting that the younger generation of the royal family has a recent history of honoring the patriarch (Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall, Harry's cousins, gave their newborn sons the middle name Philip). Diana (after Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana) and Elizabeth (after Harry's grandmother, the Queen) are also still going strong, at 5/1 and 10/1 respectively. Celebitchy further casts doubt on Philippa, noting that the baby would be "Pippa for short" and "the Middletons would be so mad." Celebitchy predicts, rather, that "it will be something unexpected. Archie Harrison was unexpected. It won't be 'Elizabeth Philippa Diana.'" More stories from theweek.comThe Republican theory of unemployment is classic MarxA short history of White House catsHummer erupts in flames at Florida gas station after driver loads in 4 5-gallon gas cans
- Business Insider
AOC calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a 'belligerent person that's not in control of themselves' after the GOP lawmaker chased her down a hallway in the Capitol
"I used to work as a bartender. These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters.
Buckingham Palace asked a Trump supporter to remove a doctored image of Queen Elizabeth from his campaign bus, a report says
An unofficial campaign bus known as the "Trump Train" displays a doctored image of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a MAGA hat.
11 of the most expensive and exclusive golf clubs on the planet - including the one where Bill Gates is hiding during his divorce
The top golf courses in the world are secretive about what it costs to become a member. If you have to ask, you'll never know.
- Associated Press
In the 1980s, Rabbi Meir Kahane's violent anti-Arab ideology was considered so repugnant that Israel banned him from parliament and the U.S. listed his party as a terrorist group. Today, his disciples march through the streets by the hundreds, chanting “Death to Arabs” and assaulting any they come across. This week, they took part in a wave of communal violence in Jerusalem and mixed cities across Israel in which Arabs and Jews viciously attacked people and torched cars.
A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore set to open on May 26 has a "high chance" of being postponed, a Hong Kong official said on Friday, which would be the second time the plan to allow visits between the cities has been called off. The bubble between two of Asia's main financial hubs, which have both imposed strict border controls for the past year to keep out the coronavirus, had been slated to begin in November but was suspended after a spike in cases in Hong Kong. This time it is Singapore that is seeing an increase in cases.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz accuses the Squad of being 'shills for terrorists' who 'don't like the Jews' in Fox News interview
Cruz's comments feed into a longstanding trope that any criticism of Israel is inherently antisemitic.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Singapore announced on Friday the strictest curbs on social gatherings and public activities since easing a COVID-19 lockdown last year, amid a rise in locally acquired infections and with new coronavirus clusters forming in recent weeks. The new measures announced by the health ministry, which will be force from Sunday to mid June, include limiting social gatherings to two people and ceasing dining in at restaurants. "This is clearly a setback in our fight against COVID-19, " said Lawrence Wong, the minister for education who co-chairs Singapore's coronavirus taskforce.
Goldie Hawn says she was 'very depressed' and 'couldn't even go outside in public' when she first became famous in her 20s
"I didn't want to be a big deal. I wanted to go home. I wanted to marry a dentist," the Oscar winner told "Good Morning Britain."
- Business Insider
Norwegian has unveiled a new cruise ship complete with a food hall, Starbucks, and its largest staterooms ever - see inside
The announcement of the new Norwegian Prima vessel comes at a hopeful time for the cruise industry, which could be sailing again as soon as July.
From "Twilight" and "Tenet" to "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," here are the actor's best and worst films according to critics.
- Business Insider
Matt Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg will plead guilty to 6 felony counts including sex trafficking, wire fraud, and identity theft
Greenberg's cooperation with prosecutors opens the possibility of a nightmare scenario for Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.
- The Independent
Trump lashes out as more than 150 senior Republicans threaten to form new party if GOP doesn’t disown him
Move came after Liz Cheney lost House leadership role for criticising ex-president’s election lies
- The Independent
‘Do Palestinians have a right to survive?’ AOC makes impassioned speech against Biden policy on Israel crisis
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the United States ‘must acknowledge its role in the injustice and human rights violations of Palestinians’
- Business Insider
A former Fox News host who was ousted amid sexual harassment allegations will fill in for anchor Greg Stinchfield following the Israel comments.