The Daily Populous

Monday October 25th, 2021 night edition

image for 911 operator hung up on Spanish-speaking caller in deadly Lehigh Valley fire, lawsuit alleges

Tasked with directing emergency phone calls where lives can be at stake, Lehigh County’s 911 center was a hub of racism and negligence that put callers and emergency personnel in danger, sometimes with deadly results, a new federal lawsuit alleges.

A Spanish-speaking man who called 911 to report his Allentown home was on fire was hung up on by a Lehigh County 911 dispatcher, the lawsuit alleges.

Calls for comment about the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court, were referred to Lehigh County Solicitor Thomas Caffrey.

Certain dispatchers forced non-English speaking callers to communicate in English or be denied emergency assistance, according to the suit.

The 911 center’s “hostile environment” to minority and Spanish-speaking callers included the deadly Allentown house fire, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit contends a county 911 dispatcher indicated she did not understand Spanish, told Santiago to speak English and then hung up on him.

The plaintiffs allege one employee assaulted a co-worker, and that other coworkers transported and possessed weapons in the 911 call center. »

How Puerto Rico became the most vaccinated place in America

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Puerto Rico has fully vaccinated just over 73% of its 3.3 million residents, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"In the cultural context of Puerto Rico, the social distancing is not something that comes easy to us as Puerto Ricans -- we want to be close," Colón Ramos said.

Connecticut , which is about the same size as Puerto Rico, has had more than 400,000 Covid-19 cases and 8,721 deaths. »

Space Tourism Company Cancels Launch Because It Couldn’t Find any Passengers

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The event seized global attention as a proof of concept for future space tourism endeavors.

In spite of Space Adventures’ woes — the company has existed since the early 2000s and has sent several tourists to space, but none since 2009 — there are still several planned space tourism launches.

Axiom Space, for instance, plans to launch a crew of four, including a former NASA astronaut and a wealthy entrepreneur, to the International Space Station early in 2022. »

Climate change in Iraq poisons Fertile Crescent farmland, empties villages

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Where civilization emerged between the Tigris and Euphrates, climate change is poisoning the land and emptying the villages.

But as climate change produces extreme warming and water grows scarcer around the Middle East, the land here is drying up.

The United Nations recently estimated that more than 100 square miles of farmland a year are being lost to desert. »