April 26, 2001 – A South Pole Rescue
April 26, 2001 – a day for finger-crossing and nail-biting if you were with the Research team in the South Pole. One of their team, Dr. Ron Shemanski, fell ill with Pancreatitis and needed emergency surgery. Under normal circumstances it would be a simple operation, but in the dead of a South Pole Winter, with temperatures hitting 65 below zero, airlifting Shemanski to a medical facility in Chile was next to impossible, especially since the only method of getting him to the facility was by way of a two-engine Canadian bush plane the Twin-Otter, since the three L-130 Hercules Cargo planes initially called in for the rescue were cancelled because, once landed, the planes wouldn’t be able to take off again. So the mission was deemed risky at best, but nonetheless the small plane arrived, took the sick Doctor and miraculously was able to fly to Punta Arenas Chile where a hospital staff and scores of reporters were waiting. It would be the first time in history such a rescue was undertaken.
But there was other news this day – Protestors in Puerto Rico were getting ready for the upcoming U.S.Navy exercises on the island of Vallecas. Pleas and a court hearing in Washington were rejected because, in judge Gladys Kessler’s words “such a short set of exercises lasting up to seven days would not cause irreparable harm to island residents”. But the judge called on the Navy to keep its implied promise to study whether the noise caused potential health problems, especially heart problems which the Puerto Rican lawyers alleged.
And former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey ruled out a 2004 bid for the Presidency. Kerrey had called a press conference to explain his admission that his Navy Seals squad killed Vietnamese women and children during the War. Kerrey said his squad was responding to fire in their direction and wasn’t considering giving up the Bronze Star he received, but the Pentagon was not ruling out a possible investigation.
And that’s just some of what happened, this April 26. 2001 – as reported by The CBS World News Roundup: Late Edition.