South Korea: Doctors on strike face arrest if they do not return to work

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“South Korea’s government is threatening to take legal action against thousands of striking junior doctors and revoke their medical licences if they do not return to work on Thursday. Around three quarters of the country’s junior doctors have walked out of their jobs over the past week, causing disruption and delays to surgeries at major teaching hospitals. The trainee doctors are protesting government plans to admit drastically more medical students to university each year, to increase the number of doctors in the system. South Korea has one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios among developed countries, and with a rapidly aging population, the government is warning there will be an acute shortage within a decade.” (02/29/24)

Both in Life and Death Navalny Was a Stinging Rebuke To Putin’s Totalitarianism

Source: The UnPopulist
by Robert Tracinski

“Navalny laid bare what students of authoritarianism will tell you is the real essence of an authoritarian regime: the looting of the country. Russia’s leaders crack down on political dissent so that no one can hold them to account for engorging themselves with billions of dollars siphoned from the nation’s mines and oil wells. This is a warning not just for Russia but for Europe, and especially for the places Russia is trying to bring under its control. It is a warning that they, too, are scheduled to be ruthlessly looted by a small political elite — and anyone who complains will be murdered. … In the latest iteration of its war on its citizens, the Russia government sent its goons to arrest people for laying flowers at a makeshift memorial to Navalny. That shows us why Navalny is a warning — but also a beacon.” (02/29/24)

Argentina’s Cautionary Tale for America

Source: Mindset Shifts
by Barry Brownstein

“Peronism is Argentina’s brand of authoritarian collectivism. Under primarily Peronist governments, the standard of living in Argentina took a precipitous fall that has lasted for almost 75 years. Argentinians went along with collectivists, who told them over and over if they stayed the course, collectivist policies would finally succeed. It took 75 years of suffering for Argentinians to consider that there had to be a better way than collectivism. Which brings us to the United States. Could what Milei did in Argentina happen in the United States? What would bureaucrats likely do if the administrative state were subject to huge budget cuts? Would they cut what little service they deliver and not their own bloat? … Are Americans adapting, like Argentinians did, to long-term suffering punctuated by short-lived signs of relief? Do we have 75 years of suffering ahead?” (02/29/24)

TX: Wildfire becomes largest in state history, “critical” fire weather to return

Source: Axios

“The Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hutchinson County increased to a staggering 1.075,000 acres and was just 3% contained as of Thursday morning. The fire, which began as a fast-moving grass fire on Tuesday and exploded in size, is now the largest in state history. Another blaze, the much smaller 687 Reamer fire, had also spread into the footprint of the Smokehouse Creek fire, effectively merging the two blazes. The fire also has extended into Oklahoma. There has been one fatality associated with it, an 83-year-old grandmother that the AP reported was killed in Stinnett, Texas. … There are fears the fire could spread again at a rapid clip when warmer, windier conditions return this weekend.” (02/29/24)

California could see 10 feet of snow as Sierra Nevada braces for blizzard with up to 100 mph winds

Source: NBC News

“March will roar in like a lion for the West Coast, where the Sierra Nevada is about to be blasted by a multiday blizzard that begins Thursday night and will last until Sunday. At the peak of the storm, some locations — like Donner Pass in California and Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border — could experience snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour and ferocious wind gusts of 50 to 100 mph for 72 hours straight. Given this will be such a cold and windy storm, the blinding snow could snarl a large stretch of the heavily traveled I-80 corridor and greatly affect communities as low as the Sierra foothills.” (02/29/24)

AL: House passes bill to protect IVF

Source: Politico

“Alabama’s GOP-controlled House voted Thursday to give doctors who provide in-vitro fertilization civil and criminal immunity for any death or damage to embryos. The chamber’s vote comes nearly two weeks after the state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children, igniting a national debate over how IVF is performed in the U.S. and putting pressure on Republicans grappling with how to convey their views on abortion ahead of the 2024 election. The legislation aims to provide fertility clinics that have paused IVF services since the court’s ruling the legal clarity needed to resume operations, though GOP lawmakers intend to pursue a more thorough review of state laws on the issue.” (02/29/24)