16 dead in KY floods, including 2 children; toll expected to “get a lot higher” – National & International News – FRI 29Jul2022


16 dead in KY floods, including 2 children; toll expected to “get a lot higher”. Growing demand for sterilization since Roe overturned. Xi, Biden exchange warnings over Pelosi trip to Taiwan.




16 dead in Kentucky floods, including 2 children; toll expected to “get a lot higher”

Heavy rains have been lashing eastern Kentucky since Wednesday and are expected to continue through the weekend. The rains have led to devastating flash flooding in many areas. Numerous images online show entire communities submerged. Thousands of people have already lost their homes in the surge.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says there is no reliable count of people who are unaccounted for. So far, 16 people, including two children, are confirmed to have died. Beshear says he expects that number to “get a lot higher”.

Nearly 300 people have had to be rescued so far. Emergency workers are having to contend with washed out roads and downed trees in many areas. The rainfall over the weekend is expected to be relatively light compared with the more than 12 inches that fell over two days. But with waterways swollen and the ground saturated, the water has nowhere to go.

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Doctors report growing demand for sterilization since Roe overturned

OBGYNS from around the country are reporting a sharp increase in demand for sterilization procedures since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Men have shown increasing interest in vasectomies, which are now reversible in most cases. Many women are also demanding procedures including tubal ligation (tubes tied), which can be reversible, and even partial hysterectomies and salpingectomies (fallopian tubes removed), which are not reversible.

There are as yet no exact numbers depicting just how much demand is increased. Concrete figures won’t be available for another year. But some clinicians say that since Roe was overturned, they’ve had to create designated staff positions just to field sterilization inquiries and provide sterilization care.

Even so, many young women who have decided on sterilization are running into obstacles. While vasectomies are relatively simple and inexpensive procedures, female sterilization isn’t. Those without insurance must choose between going into medical debt, or risk falling pregnant with a baby they can’t afford.

Additionally, many of the women seeking sterilization are under 30 and childless. Physicians are often reluctant to perform procedures on young childless women, assuming they will one day change their minds about having children. But young women seeking sterilization fear that their contraceptive options will soon be limited as well, leaving them few other options to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

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Xi, Biden exchange warnings over Taiwan, potential Pelosi trip

Tensions between the US and China are on the rise over reports that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is planning a trip to Taiwan next month. If Pelosi does indeed visit the island, she will be the highest-ranking US government official to do so since former Speaker Newt Gingrich visited in 1997.

While China does not govern the island of Taiwan, Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of China’s sovereign territory. Taiwan is self-governing, and its current leadership is pro-independence. This along with increasing US military aid to the island has put China on the offense in its rhetoric over Taiwan’s potential reunification. Chinese military jets now fly over the island in large numbers and on a regular basis.

US policy over Taiwan has long been purposefully vague. There is no permanent US diplomatic position in Taiwan and the US has historically respected Beijing’s “One China” policy. However, the US is also bound by law to help the island defend itself in the event China were to invade to force reunification. 

China has vowed “severe consequences” if Speaker Pelosi goes ahead with her trip. Yesterday, President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping had their fifth telephone conservation since Biden took office. During the call, Xi reiterated his warning about Pelosi’s visit, while Biden cautioned Xi over any rash military action.

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