Call it the "Pandemic Rewiring" at a northwest suburban small business the I-Team first reported on last November.
- The Daily Beast
BENOIT TESSIEREight private jets carrying India’s super wealthy—and potentially the coronavirus—landed in London ahead of the U.K.’s 4 a.m. ban on travel from India, according to the London Times. The U.K. added India to its “red list” of pandemic-stricken countries. As of Friday, any Britons returning from India must quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel. All non-British or non-Irish citizens will be banned entirely from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to cancel his own state visit to India scheduled for next week as a “precautionary measure.”The last of the luxury airliners to arrive, VistaJet Bombardier Global 6000, which left Dubai Thursday to collect passengers in Mumbai, landed at 3:15 a.m., just 44 minutes before the restrictions took place.The private jet passengers were fleeing unimaginable horror back home. At least 14 COVID-19 patients perished in a devastating fire that ripped through an ICU ward in one of India’s overcrowded hospitals about 70 miles outside Mumbai. The fire that broke out around 3 a.m. Friday morning was contained and extinguished, but not before 14 patients—many who were intubated and hard to evacuate—had died. “Around 90 patients were admitted to the hospital at the time of the incident,” Dilip Shah, the head of the Vijay Vallabh Hospital where it happened, said in a statement Friday. Black Market Hospital Beds and Price-Gouged COVID Drugs Selling on Indian TwitterOne eyewitness, Avinash Patil, told reporters outside the hospital that no doctors were present at the time. “I got a call at around 3 a.m. from a friend whose mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital,” he said. “As I reached the hospital, I saw fire engines outside. The ICU on the second floor was engulfed in smoke. Only two nurses were there, and I couldn’t see a doctor. It took firefighters about half an hour to put out the flames. We could see eight-10 bodies there.”Shah, the hospital chief, insisted all safety norms were followed and that “doctors were present,” according to local media reports. Earlier in the week, an oxygen leak in Maharashtra state, near where the fire broke out, resulted in the death of 24 COVID-19 patients who were on ventilators.To make terrible matters even worse, India reported its highest one-day number of cases, recording 332,730 new infections in a 24-hour period. In the same period, 2,263 people died with COVID-19.India has been overwhelmed by new cases coupled with a critical shortage of oxygen, hospital beds, and now ventilators. Many desperate families have been forced to turn to black-market price gougers who have been able to buy hospital space from corrupt administrators.The spike in cases comes as political rallies are still being held and after a month-long religious ceremony continues to bring millions of people to the Ganges River.India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticized for not calling a national lockdown to try to mitigate the spread and for hosting rallies ahead of elections in May. Government officials have said the previous lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic was economically devastating to many manual laborers who then traveled by foot from home cities to their villages, carrying the virus with them. The fire at a COVID-19 hospital in Virar is tragic. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 23, 2021 Modi called the ICU fire “tragic” and offered condolences over Twitter. Many of the comments on his tweet begged him to call a national lockdown to try to save lives. In a shocking expose published in Time magazine, Indian journalist Rana Ayyub paints a horrific picture from the ground, writing about states essentially hijacking oxygen trucks and stealing supplies for their own hospitals, and disturbing allegations of underreporting deaths. Ayyub lays the blame for the debacle squarely on Modi’s shoulders, accusing him of ignoring the fact that his Trump-style rallies are super-spreader events, and for letting the ball drop on vaccines.“Why was India caught unprepared as the second wave ravaged a cross-section of Indian society?” Ayyub writes. “The responsibility lies with a strongman regime that has ignored all caution.”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.
The soccer legend was also charged with coercive or controlling behavior between December 2017 and last November.
- The State
Third doses would aim to boost immunity for COVID-19 as coronavirus variants continue to spread.
Venus Williams says switching to a vegan diet was a game-changer for her skin and health, but she still loves 'junk' food
Venus Williams told Insider her skin and athletic performance have drastically improved since going vegan, and she hasn't even cut out French fries.
- USA TODAY Opinion
So strong is the constituency for firearms ownership in Congress that a law is on the books immunizing gun manufacturers.
Sam Wilson finally follows in Captain America's footsteps with his new suit upgrade on 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'
After being teased on the penultimate episode of season one of the Marvel show, fans finally got a proper look at the new comic-book-inspired outfit.
- Business Insider
Operation Praying Mantis, the largest US naval action since World War II, offers a glimpse of what a US-Iran war could look like now.
- Architectural Digest
The low-slung, rotund, adaptable seating of the 1970s is having a comeback
- Reuters Videos
Up to 3.4 million more people in Myanmar will struggle to afford food in the next three to six months, the United Nations said on Thursday (April 22). The country has plunged into political turmoil after the army seized power from the democratically elected civilian government on February 1.With added economic pressure from the global health crisis, Myanmar is battling a deepening financial crisis. The World Food Program said market prices of rice and cooking oil had risen by 5% and 18% respectively since the end of February. There are signs that families in the commercial capital Yangon were skipping meals and eating less nutritious food. The World Bank forecasts Myanmar's GDP to contract 10% in 2021. The agency's analysis shows that urban areas will be worst affected as job losses are mounting across manufacturing, construction and services. The World Food Program plans to expand its operations to help 3.3 million people, tripling the number of people it helps. It is appealing for $106 million to achieve this goal.
- The Daily Beast
ReutersVENICE—On June 5, the MSC Orchestra cruise ship will once again glide past Venice’s St. Mark’s square despite a March 31 government decree banning the monster ships from the city center. It won’t be a sign of defiance, but rather a sign of compromise as the city prepares the new temporary cruise ship port in decidedly unpicturesque Marghera. The area used to be a swamp—in fact the name means “the sea was here”—and now it houses an oil refinery and several other industrial plants which might not be what cruise ship passengers are expecting when they dock in Venice. The passengers would then take the train or smaller boats into historical Venice, about 20 minutes away.The new decree by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s infant government that prohibits passenger ships over 40,000 tons, as well as container ships, from passing close to the historical city center is backed by environmentalists and many Venetians.“Anyone who has visited Venice in recent years has been shocked to see these ships, hundreds of metres long and as tall as apartment buildings, passing through such fragile places,” Italy Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said when announcing the news.But some in the city say the return of the cruise ships will be a welcome sign. “It will really feel like things are getting back to normal again,” Vincenzo, who used to sell souvenirs to the tourists at a shop near St. Marks Square until he shuttered his shop when the tourists stopped coming, told The Daily Beast. He now spends his time shuffling around the empty city, wondering if he will ever open again. “I have to pay rent, I have to pay electricity, but it is not worth opening until I know the tourists are back.”Venice’s long-standing inner struggle with self-identity has become glaringly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, around 25 million tourists visited the city, which has a fixed population of under 60,000. The crush of tourists had turned the UNESCO World Heritage site into something of a Disneyland with plans then in place to install turnstiles to control the flow in and out of the historical center. But by February 2020, when the pandemic caused the cancellation of Carnival, tourism ground to a halt. “There were a few tourists this summer, but in the thousands, not millions,” City councilor Simone Venturini said. “And everyone suddenly had to stop and think: Do we want them or not?”Before the pandemic, around 1.6 million cruise ship passengers visited Venice each year, but they are among the most loathed in the city because they eat and sleep on the ships and don’t contribute anything but human traffic to the city. Before the pandemic, around 700 massive ships entered the lagoon each year. None have been back since, though the sector will open up in June.Cruise ships have been proven to damage the fragile lagoon bed because of the amount of water they displace, but despite the historic center’s animosity the industry is one of the most lucrative for the greater Venice region, bringing around $450 million annually and employing 4,000 people with permanent jobs—who have almost all been furloughed since early 2020.Since the pandemic, Venice has struggled with how to reinvent itself once borders are open and travelers can return. Many who want to see Venice return to the golden era of the Grand Tour, actually believe it is low-cost airlines that contribute far more of the “wrong” kind of tourists to Venice, not the cruise ships.But Draghi’s decree doesn’t actually deliver a full stop to the ships—at least not for now. Negotiations between Venetians who are working to come up with plans to reopen Venice safely had pleaded with the government to do its part to keep the ships from coming too close to the historical center. But the fine print of Draghi’s ban says the government intends to build a new port, even calling for a competition of ideas for how to safely keep the ships at bay, whether at sea or on land—not that it will build one. The winner will get €2.2 million to carry out the plan.But to even temporarily house the ships at Marghera on the mainland, the narrow channel leading up to it will have to be dredged to make it deeper and not risk the sort of Suez Canal debacle the Ever Given container ship caused this spring.“The decree is a joke,” Marco Gasparinetti, a city councilor who would like to see a total ban on the ships, wrote on his Facebook page. “Governments change in Italy every 14 months, there is no way this decree will stay in place.”Venice’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro doesn’t want the ships to be turned away. “People will understand in a few years that disembarking tourists from a cruise ship in the sea doesn’t work in any part of the world,” he said after the decree was announced. “Leave them where they are.”Back in an empty St. Mark’s square on a recent April day, Vincenzo longs for the return of the tourists, no matter how they get here. “We’ve seen what Venice is like with just Venetians now for more than a year,” he said. “We need company again.”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.
- Reuters Videos
Iraqi actress Nessma is on her way to receiving the shock of her life. Told she'll deliver aid to a family displaced by war on the outskirts of Baghdad, she instead falls prey to what seems to be a jihadist ambush.But is in fact a prank.Blindfolded and wrapped in a fake suicide belt - apparently fainting at one point - Nessma is "rescued" by a guy in military fatigues.That's television presenter Reslan Haddad, and his show, consisting of 25 similar episodes for broadcast over Ramadan, is drawing disgust on social media - under the hashtag "stop the Tannab Reslan show".Haddad explained his thinking from his living room in the Iraqi capital."The guest, after being blindfolded and after Islamic State comes in, she experiences that terror so that she, as well as the audience, see how it was for people. Some people can't see that."Nessma confirmed she wasn't in on the prank.In the shot following the staged attack, she even calls out to her deceased brother, who Haddad said, quote, "died as a martyr.""Aysar, I'm coming to you," she says.Nessma's episode has so far received more than a million views on YouTube. But writer and activist Resli al-Maliki fears what it could trigger in viewers, in a nation traumatized by such events."To be honest, violence in our society is born of such practices. A violent society is created by violent media. What does a program like this achieve? It achieved a hashtag on Twitter, angry, and violent reactions. Yes, the views may be high, but that's curiosity, that's normal, people want to find out what all the fuss is about."Critics on Twitter point out that thousands of Iraqis still suffer from the aftermath of the war against Islamic State. Many are displaced and still unable to return home.Haddad says the show aims to praise the security forces - he used real ones rather than actors in the show - and to convey their sacrifices in the battle with I.S.But opponents say it insults them and ordinary Iraqis. Haddad says it could have been worse. "By the way there were a lot of details, things that I wanted to do to the guests, but I was scared for them. Much more terrifying things. If I were to portray what really happened to the families, to the people, then guests would have died."Nessma manages a smile when it's over. She told Reuters later that she was proud to have been part of Tannab Reslan, because it shows what the Iraqis went through.
- Kansas City Star
A South Dakota state representative called the event’s name “ridiculous, tone deaf and blatantly racist garbage.”
- Associated Press
The Las Vegas Raiders spent the free agency period dismantling their offensive line and mostly ignoring the secondary. Now heading into the NFL draft, those are the two spots that appear to be the most urgent needs for the Raiders to fill starting with pick No. 17 in the first round. “You’re trying to set yourself up in the draft so that you can take the best player that you can take,” general manager Mike Mayock said.
Brett Favre said it's hard to believe that Derek Chauvin meant to kill George Floyd, and other athletes have lashed out at him in response
The Hall of Fame quarterback made the comments Wednesday on his podcast "Bolling With Favre."
The "Wonder Woman" actress had a few drinks and then cut herself making a cabbage salad. Her husband put the finger tip into the garbage disposal.
Jonah Hill was offered the role of Shia LaBeouf's sidekick in the "Transformers" sequel following the success of "Superbad."
- Business Insider
Russian President Vladimir Putin's chief domestic critic made the announcement Friday on Instagram. He had been on a hunger strike since March 31.
Federal prosecutors are considering charges against Derek Chauvin for an incident in 2017 when he knelt on a Black teen, ABC News reports
Chauvin - who was convicted of murdering George Floyd -allegedly knelt on a Black teen in 2017 for nearly 17 minutes.
As thousands are dying every day, Modi has looked the other way. But how much longer can the government ignore the crisis unfolding in India?
- Business Insider
India's COVID-19 surge is highlighting a ruthless, global black market for oxygen, where sellers jack prices up to 1,000%
India is struggling as huge numbers of people contract COVID-19. When the disease surges, so does demand for scarce medical-grade oxygen.