UN PEACEKOR Hosts The 1st Global Virtual Forum Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

On September 16, UN PEACEKOR (Chairman Dug-Ryong Kim) held the global meeting through Zoom and Youtube live for the first time ever in history due to coronavirus pandemic.

This forum was held by foreign compatriots from around the world with different time zones on the actual conditions and prospects of North Korea’s three sufferings (sanctions, corona, flood damage), and where to find clues for the recovery of South-North relations in this difficult situation. We had time to express each other’s opinions using the internet space as a place.

The forum was hosted by Jun-Hyuk Huh, Secretary General of UNPEACEKOR, and led to discussions by Yong-Han Choi, head of the National Security Strategy Research Institute, Jong-Cheol Park, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Unification, Yoo-seok Jeong, a senior research fellow at the Northeast Asia Research Center at Export-Import Bank of Korea, and Dae-jin Jeong, a professor at Ajou University.

The chairman of the organization stated that despite US’ distraction during a presidential election year, and North Korea focusing on its internal structure, there is still tremendous responsibility to bring to awareness, the importance of restarting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

The members of the forum focused heavily on the kind of development necessary in North Korea, and talked about the impact of Covid-19 on both the social and economic infrastructure of China and North Korea, but also how this could require heavier interest by South Korea or the US to improve relationship with North Korea, especially in the area of trade.

The forum garnered much interest, as almost 400 people tuned in to watch the forum.

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BTS Hits Billboard 100 with a Dynamite #1

After landing with Billboard #4 with the last single “On,” in March, K-Pop boy band BTS debuted with an all-English single, “Dynamite” at the top of the Billboard’s Hot 100.

BTS is the first K-Pop group to lead the Hot 100. Released on August 21, 2020, showed a result of 33.9 million US stream, 300,000 sold, and drew 11.6 million radio airplay audience impressions the week ending August 30.

BTS’ “Dynamite” made the best digital sales since One Direction’s “Drag Me Down” 5 years ago, and marks BigHit entertainment’s first #1 on the Billboard chart. Consultations to BTS!

Of course, much of BTS’ success comes from BTS’ use of technology (mainly YouTube and V Live) to gain followers, interact with them, and establish themselves as serious brands. Many analysts tout that the globalization of Broadband access has made not only information flow throughout the world, but also allow easier means for fans to gain access to their favorite bands’ music and show clips.

 

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Frenchwoman posts nude video for her business, gets arrested by Indian police

Photo from Google Images

27-year old Frenchwoman, identified only as Marie-Helene was arrested on August 27 by the local Indian police in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, after her Indian social media followers recognized the background of her nude video as the holy bridge.

The Ganges is a sacred river to Hinduism, and it is known that at the location of where the holy bridge is, is where Hindu deity Lakshmana crossed the river on jute ropes.

According to the Indian police, the woman filmed the material to promote her jewelry business. In the video, she originally begins by wearing a shawl, but drops it midway through filming, appearing nude.

She is currently on bail but has been charged with obscenity in a public place and with publishing obscene content online.

Marie-Helene stated that she’d chosen to become nude on the holy bridge because each time she crossed the bridge, she felt she was being harassed, and that she felt other Indian women and her “fellow female travelers” surely have experienced the same.

She apologized for her insensitivity to the local culture.

Public nudity is an issue in France as well, with the interior minister defending the right to sunbathe topless, while the localities might impose different rules, to include fines in association with topless or nude sunbathing.

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Europe’s Last Dictator’s Hold over Belarus

Out in force in Minsk. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

After the most recent presidential election where Pres.Alexander Lukashenko won yet another presidential election to continue his 20-year regime, Belarusians have gathered in the capital city of Minsk, holding the opposition flag, white with red stripe, to protest the legitimacy of the regime.

What started as a small grassroots protest by college students and some dissidents has grown as the Belarus police force applied brutality and force to subdue the population.

Just a few days ago, police and special forces were seen shooting people with rubber bullets, throwing stun grenades, arresting them, and killing them. However, in recent weeks, those who were detained stand as examples of what is wrong with this regime.

State TV employees have gone on strikes, and the protest is a stark contrast to Pres. Alexander Lukashenko’s claim of winning with more than 80% of the popular vote.

However, Mr. Lukashenko doesn’t seem eager to move out of his comfortable position, as he’s made statements about contacting Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Whether the protests get more violent remains to be seen, but given how his last violent reaction only led to an even larger protest, he may only continue to lose whatever support he might actually have within the country.

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Trump’s German ambassador pick known for racist comments

Photo from Wikipedia

Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran, author and frequent guest on Fox News. He claimed that Muslim migrants were coming to Europe to eventually turn Europe, criticizing Germany for giving welfare benefits to “unwanted Muslim invaders”.

This comes as Trump plans to remove 12,000 troops from Germany and after news of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on state phone calls.

Within US, Macgregor often made anti-immigrant comments, especially toward Mexico, and wished to institute martial law at the US-Mexico border.

However, the Senate is already opposing this nomination, as his comments likely disqualify him from any government office.

It is unclear whether Mr. Macgregor will serve as the German ambassador based on his controversial views and his pro-military views may hinder his nomination.

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Covid-19’s Real Problem: Organ damage

As US sees 150,000 deaths from COVID-19, some of those who are for quick reopening tout the relatively low death percentage rate as an argument against the severity of COVID-19. However, those who are recovering from COVID-19 show something more sinister from coronavirus infection: organ damage.

Two German studies found that many patients recovering from COVID-19 had heart abnormalities that didn’t exist before. The study included 100 patients from the University of Hospital Frankfurt COVID-19 Registry.

1/3 on the registry recovered at the hospital, while the other 2/3 recovered at home; however, in the 78 of the original 100, there were now heart abnormalities, with 60 of them showing inflammation in the heart muscle from COVID-19.

This abnormality would not be found on the echograms more frequently used to detect heart abnormalities.

Such results are quite damaging; those who have this weakness will likely require more extensive treatments and be at risk for abnormal heart beats and other heart problems.

So yes, maybe COVID-19 only kills around 1 percent of those infected; however, the true harm of COVID-19 isn’t necessarily the fast death, but the lasting impact on the majority of those that recover from the disease; mostly, the weakening of the organs in the rest of the body.

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Massive Saharan Air Layer To Hit US Soon

Caribbean is suffering from one of the worst dust storms in recent history, from of all places, The Sahara. Sahara Air Layer is a massive dust storm that forms in early spring, summer, and late fall, and it crosses the North Atlantic every three to five days, occupying a 2 to 2.5-mile thick layer of the Earth’s atmosphere with the base about 1 mile above surface.

Over the weekend, the blue skies of the Caribbean were dusty brown gray with the Saharan dust. Along with the horrible sky, the Caribbean is seeing one of the worst air quality in recent history.

The dust storm is expected to hit Texas by Thursday, and spread across other parts of the country, to include the mid-Atlantic. While this dry air is likely to weaken tropical storms and hurricane developments, it could cause allergic issues for those who are sensitive.

However, the dust storm will also bring beautiful sunsets and sunrises, so those who aren’t sensitive may want to document the event with the cameras.

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Sweden Regrets Relaxed Social Distancing as it see COVID Deaths Worsen

Photo from Google Images

Sweden was the envy of most people around the globe, as people went shopping, attended school, worked, and dined in restaurants during the Coronavirus pandemic, as most people were forced into strict stay-at-home enforcements.

But now, State chief epidemiologist Andre Tegnell anguishes about soaring high death rates caused by the coronavirus contagion.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s death rate per capita rose to the highest in the world, according to the Guardian. At 43 fatalities per 100,000 people, it has far surpassed neighboring countries, Denmark and Norway which have imposed strict stay at home orders.

Some Democrat critics shows strong rebuke against Tegnell’s measure which originally asserted that relaxed social distancing against Coronavirus pandemic would be more sustainable long-term than severe and sudden lockdowns enforced by most governments around the world.

Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democratic Party) tweeted:

“Sveriges coronahanteringen blir mer obegriplig för varje dag.” (“Sweden’s corona management is becoming more incomprehensible for each day.”)

Whether Mr. Tegnell truly regrets this or not is still unclear; however, Sweden is seeing a gross domestic product slump of 7 percent, which is about the same as the rest of Europe, but Sweden is also seeing the highest fatalities in Europe as well, showing that Mr. Tegnell’s policy of allowing more deaths initially to protect the economy and arrive at herd immunity faster than rest of Europe is not working as intended.

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COVID-19 strains now in 30 different mutations, says Study from China

(Photo from CDC)

US is seeing a death toll at 42,897, with confirmed 799,515 cases as of April 21, and extreme rightists protesting to end quarantine.

A new study from professor Li Lanjuan and colleagues from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China  published in a non-peer review paper released on website medRXiv.org on Sunday, says that COVID-19 now has at least 30 different variation of mutations, which could make finding vaccine even more difficult.

Li Team stated that some of the COVID-19 mutations could generate as much as 270 times the normal viral load as the weakest strains, showing variety in danger to humans based on the mutation of the strain.

Assuming this study is accurate (as it has yet to be peer-reviewed amidst growing skepticism towards validity of information streaming out of China from the global community), this could make treatment immensely difficult, as so far, all COVID-19 patients have been treated in the same way.

Li says, “Drug and vaccine development, while urgent, need to take the impact of these accumulating mutations into account to avoid potential pitfalls.”

It is unclear at this time when the study will be peer-reviewed and its information, verified, however, the amidst growing tension in economic, political, and social structure of much of the western world, many hope that this study is not reflective of reality.

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Coronavirus Fears Lead US to Telework

As universities and government agencies employ telework policies in fear of coronavirus, Alphabet, Google’s parent company has recommended its North American employees to work from home through April 10.

Although governments and schools have implemented telework or online course policies regionally or within its city boundaries, Google is asking everyone in the entire continent to follow this system.

As COVID-19 spread throughout Washington state, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook had encouraged its employees to work from home.

Google has also cancelled its annual developer conference Google I/O, due to COVID-19 worries. Furthermore, Google will establish COVID-19 fund which will enable temporary staff and vendors globally to take paid sick leave if they have potential COVID-19 symptoms or cannot work due to quarantine.

The US executive branch plans to meet with representatives from tech companies to discuss COVID-19 response efforts, where they will meet remotely.

Unwittingly, it seems that a virus may trigger a permanent shift in business and administration in the American workforce.

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