NASA says Mars now has the largest canyon in the solar system

Photo from NASA

The newest canyon found on Mars has overtaken any canyons on Earth for the largest canyon in the solar system. Named Valles Marineris Canyon, it slices along the Martian equator for about 2,500 miles and would reach from New York City to San Francisco. The deepest canyon floor is at about 7 miles deep, which is deep as some parts of the deepest parts of the Earth’s ocean.

The photos of the canyon was taken using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and although it is not yet clear as to how it formed, the European Space Agency seems to think that the largest portions cracked open billions of years ago, with the volcanic creation of the Tharsis bulge where Olympus Mons is located at.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

$600 Stimulus Checks Begin Arriving to Americans

The latest $600 stimulus check passed by Congress just before the end of 2020 has begun dispersement. According to Earnin, mobile app that allows access to paychecks early, the latest $600 stimulus check should last three to three and a half months for the average American living paycheck to paycheck.

During the first round of $1200 stimulus checks it had taken peoples’ bank accounts about six and a half months to return to normal fund levels. That being said, those using Earnin are people that live paycheck to paycheck, with lower bank balances.

The $600 stimulus however, only covers those who earn less than $75000 if single and $150000 as couples in 2019. The payments phase out if the individual earned more.

Those with $87,000 single income or $174,000 for married couples will receive no stimulus payments.

Any American who has less than $100 in their checking accounts will not see their money last more than 6 weeks, as about 1 in 5 of those struggling financially will spend the money straight away.

As it is after the December holiday season and winter, timing could also show that people are likely to spend the money faster than when they received the money last year, as it is generally known to be a time of higher expenses.

Although Americans could defer some payments on their credit cards, student loans and mortgages, and while some have been extended, others have not. It may still be a long while before Americans can actually “stimulate” the economy.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

이슈는 이슈로 덮으려 하나 국민은 더는 궁민이 아니다.

윤석열 검찰총장 사퇴와 이낙연 더불어민주당 대표의 사퇴를 외치는 국민의 목소리가 새해 벽두부터 뜨겁다.

각종 범죄와 비리에 연루된 그들의 얽히고 섥힌 실타래, 그 실을 풀어헤치는 국민의 날카롭고 예리한 눈과 입,더는 묵과하지 않을 것으로 보인다.

해외 언론인으로서 한마디 하자면,

세계 제 일류 시민정신을 가지고 있는 한국 국민은 정치가 광장에서 이루어진다는 것을 직접 몸소 보여 주었다. 강 추위에 떨면서도 광화문 앞에서 적폐척결과 박근혜 하야를 외쳤던 촛불국민은 몇 개월동안 오직 정의와 국민의 권리를 되찾기 위해 거리로 나섰다. 갓난아기부터 할아버지까지, 해외동포들도, 해외 언론들도 한국 국민의 민주수호와 국민 자주권 회복을 향한 의지에 박수와 응원을 아끼지 않았다. 결국 촛불 시위로 국정농단의 대표적인 사례 였던 박근혜 정권을 끌어 내렸다.

2017년 5월 9일, 제 19대 대통령으로 당선된 문재인 대통령은 “국민이 주인인 정부, 더불어 잘사는 경제, 내 삶을 책임지는 국가, 고르게 발전하는 지역, 평화와 번영의 한반도”라는 국정지표를 내걸고 일자리 확대, 정치권력과 권력기관 개혁, 부패, 재벌 개혁, 민주주의와 평화를 선도하는 국가, 청년의 꿈을 지켜주는 국가, 여성에 대한 성차별을 없애며, 농어민,자영업자, 소상공인의 소득이 늘어나는 활기찬 국가, 어른과 아이들이 두루 행복한 나라, 무엇보다도 안전하고 건강한 대한민국을 위해 국가가 국민의 생명과 안전을 책임 지겠습니다.”라고 말했었다.

위의 문대통령 공약 중에서 가장 큰 핵심이 되는 항목은 부패한 정치권력과 권력기관 개혁이 아닌가 싶다. 현 사법부의 원리와 원칙을 무시한 법 집행을 보면서 국가가 국민을 위해 더는 사법부를 개혁할 의지가 없는 것은 아닌가 하는 의구심을 갖기 시작했다.

윤석열 검찰총장의 처와 장모가 연루된 각종 비리 문제와 나경원 전의원 아들 예일대 입학에 큰 역할을 했던 서울대 관련 “Research Paper”는 문제 삼지 않으면서, 정경심 교수의 딸 “표창장”문제는 4년과 벌금 5억을 선고했다. 과연 이것이 공정한 법 집행인가? 최근의 법원 판결을 보면서 사법부의 실체와 법관의 자질도 의심하지 않을 수 없다.

추미애 전 법무부 장관이 검찰 개혁을 위해 칼을 빼 들었지만 윤 검찰총장을 임명한 임명권자인 문대통령은 결과적으로 추미애 장관에게 힘을 실어주지 않았다. 또는 문재인 대통령의 귀와 눈을 가리고 있는 그 무엇이 존재하는 것은 아닌지 의심이 든다.

객관적으로 보면 문재인 대통령은 최선을 다해 대통령직을 수행해왔고 또 하고 있다고 생각된다.

그런데 “인사가 만사”라는 말이 있다. 난 대통령 주위에 대통령을 잘 보좌해줄 수 있는 사람이 많지 않음을 눈치채고 말았다.

최근 추미애 장관님이 법무부 장관직을 내려 놓자 난 속으로 말했다.

대통령님, 제발 추 카드를 놓지 마세요!

라고,

그러나, 내 바램과 반대결과가 나옴과 동시에 이낙연 더불어 민주당 대표의 “두 전직 대통령 사면설 “ 이 나왔다. 이것은 현재 온 국민의 분노의 대상인 윤석열 검찰총장과 적폐판사들의 탄핵을 한 순간에 수면아래로 가라앉게 하는데 큰 역할을 했다.

너무 충격적이었다. 현 정권의 근간이 흔들리게 하는 “사면 설 “, 촛불집회 국민들이 적폐의 근원인 박근혜 정부를 내리고 촛불을 들어 국민이 세운 문재인 정부, 전직 국무총리를 했던 이낙연 현 여당 당대표가 마치 자신이 이미 대통령이 된 듯한 느낌이 들게 하는 “사면설”을 전 국민 “통합” 이란 명목으로 새해 첫 날 말을 했다. 역사적으로 볼 때, 전두환, 노태우 사면때도 “국민통합” 이라는 이유를 들어 그들을 사면했다. 그 결과는 어떠했는가! 우리는 모두 기억하고 있다.

그들은 모두 당당하게 고개를 세우고 아무런 잘못이 없는 듯 살아가고 있다.

이슈를 이슈로 덮으려고 새해 첫 날 이대표가 이러한 발언을 한 배경에는 동교동 계,이명박 계, 그리고 박근혜 파 와 모종의 거래가 있었던 것은 아닐까 의심에 눈초리를 거두기 어렵다.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Stimulus Check will hit the road Tonight

Help is on its way for many Americans. Recently, the second round of $600 per person, and tax-free Economic Impact payment will be deposited directly from tonight as of 29 December, two days before the end of the Year.

The Treasury Secretary had announced last week that he expected the federal government to start delivering the payment this week. After Pres. Trump announced the desire to see up to $2,000 for individual and vetoed the $600 one, he ultimately signed the bill with conditions to raise amount to $2,000 again.

Many American expected the Trump’s last effort while in office and it was survived at the House flour but Today, the bill was blocked by the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Stock Market went down in response.

Pres. Trump pointed that the bill should provide more for the Americans and not for the High Tech companies and foreign countries which is what many Americans agree with his last pitch. Treasury and the IRS said that they would work as soon as possible to deliver to many Americans who have suffered in the harsh economic climate.

Many healthcare workers are in danger at the line of virus war but many are still waiting for their vaccines, and they need more help but their revenue and funds had been cut in the beginning of the Trump administration.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Communist China sentences Zhang Zhan to 4 Years in Prison for Reporting on Covid-19 in Wuhan

On Monday, Chinese court sentences Zhang Zhang, a citizen reporter to 4 years in prison for reporting on the development of Covid-19 in Wuhan in its early days.

Zhan was convicted of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” by Pudong New Area People’s Court in Shanghai. The charge is apparently interpreted “broadly” and used by the police to stifle dissent. The maximum prison sentence allowed by the law is 5 years.

Zhan had travelled to Wuhan in February to report on the outbreak; while there, she posted short video clips to YouTube, some of which included interviews with Wuhan residents and footages of hospitals, crematorium, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

By mid-May however, she was arrested and accused of several charges, including spreading false information; the world knows that information regarding Covid-19 are all true.

The UN Human Rights office voiced its “deep concerns” for Zhan’s sentence, calling it excessive.

Her mother is devastated to hear of her daughter’s sentencing, as what Zhan had said were all true. Zhan’s attorney Ran Quanniu plans to appeal the decision, and explained that she believes she is being persecuted for exercising her freedom of speech. It certainly seems so from an American perspective.

Zhan is also currently physically unwell due to her long-term hunger strike; the Chinese officials had tied her hands to her waist, and nasogastric tube had been inserted into her nose, said Zhan’s other attorney, Zhang Keke.

Those in the Human Rights Watch argued that China had tried to avoid Western coverage of this event by scheduling the trial during the Christmas holiday period. China has also banned foreign media from the trial “due to the epidemic.”

The world has accused China of hiding the true extent of the outbreak in the early days of the Covid-19 breakout, which eventually led to the virus getting out of control and causing a massive global pandemic that has shut down the world in 2020.

Other journalists are still mostly missing from public spotlight: Fang Bin has been unseen since February, Chen Qiushi who is allegedly under close surveillance, and Li Zehua re-emerged after 2 months missing to say he was forcibly quarantined.

Trump Challenges $600 Stimulus Check and 5,600 Pg. Pork Spending Bill

On Monday, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the 2021 spending bill and the new Coronavirus stimulus package. Packed into 5,600 pages of text, there were also hidden provisions such as laws against streaming of content and punishment for up to 10 years in prison for such behavior. It was likely that most in Congress did not actually have the time or resources to thoroughly review all that was included in the bill.

Nonetheless, the bill passed both houses. Many people had received this news with distaste, as most complained that $600 was not enough to pay the rent or the extensive amount of bills associated with the massive unemployment associated with the ineffectively short but economically devastating Covid shutdowns for many Americans.

However, on December 22, 2020, Pres. Trump posted a video to Twitter, stating that Congress should increase the stimulus check amount from $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple.

He argued that the current relief bill in current state included with $1.4 trillion omnibus spending has “almost nothing to do with Covid.”

He also argued that while Congress found plenty of money to give to foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, it was only giving the bare minimum to its own people.

He also criticized the lack of support for small business owners, stating that they had not received enough money despite the suffering.

Nancy Pelosi responded that she and the Democrats are willing to bring the amendment to the House floor this week by unanimous consent, and to get $2,000 for each Americans if Trump was willing to convince the Republicans to do so, stating that the Republicans had repeatedly refused to say the amount preferred by Pres. Trump, and applauded the president for pushing for money to be included in the stimulus checks.

The Republican leaders have not responded or provided any requests for comment as of now.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

House to Vote for a 5,600 page Bill After Receiving the Bill the Day of Voting

The members of the House of Representatives voted on the stimulus bill recently passed by the Senate on Monday, December 21.

However, as AOC stated, the longest bill in history (approximately 5,600 pages of legislation) arrived at the House Monday afternoon, and most have not had the time to thoroughly review the bill.

In playing the political game, both the Republican and Democrat representatives did not have the time to thoroughly review the bill, being forced by time limits.

This is alarming for the entirety of the democratic process; there may be many legalese and languages that aren’t open to thorough debate or consideration by the members of both houses, as due to the pettiness of partisan politics and needless bickering between parties over unimportant matters. Ultimately, even post-Trump, neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties show that they care about the American public.

Some may see it as a sad day for democracy, one Americans are being paid $600 in trade, at a time when significant number of people are facing evictions, starvations, and poverty due to the US system’s ineffective ability to protect its people from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

As COVID-19 Vaccines Begin Distribution, ICU capacity in SoCal drops to 0%

Photo from Google Images

Southern California region’s health authorities have reported that the intensive care unit capacity has dropped to 0% on Thursday, as it faced a record 379 coronavirus deaths and 52,000 new confirmed cases.

This means that there has been 1,000 deaths in the last 5days, and 106,000 confirmed cases in 2 days.

California is now the state with the most positive cases of coronavirus in the country with 21,860 death toll.

This is not only problematic for those suffering from the coronavirus; those needing medical help for non-coronavirus related matters are receiving less attention due to the need to treat Covid patients.

As of December 17, 2020, only Northern California has ICU capacity of 25.8% at this point, as the Bay Area sees 13.1%, Greater Sacramento region with 11.3%, and San Joaquin Valley with 0.7%.

The infection rate has been on the rise since people have begun ignoring safety measures and socialize with others, many of them from Halloween and Thanksgiving. State officials are begging people to not gather for Christmas and New Year’s.

It hasn’t helped that San Diego has given up enforcement of Covid-19 restrictions on restaurants and live entertainment establishments after the judge extended his order to protect two strip clubs from state shutdown order.

Those in the medical profession are frustrated with their community for their refusal to follow the basic protocols for safety.

San Francisco is ordering a travel quarantine of 10 days for anyone coming into the city, due to the high number of cases, as it is currently averaging a record high of 242 new cases a day. It will expire January 4.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Massive Snow Storm Affects the Entire East Coast

While the Major Storm System passed over Virginia and North Carolina with rain and snow, Northeast was facing another snow storm. While New York City is dealing with one of the heaviest snow storm in years at 14 inches, more than 60 million people were under a winter storm warning or advisory from northern Georgia to Maine. Most of the warnings and advisories expire on Thursday.

Heaviest snow, up to 2 feet could collect in parts of central Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey. The National Weather Service warned that this could lead to very dangerous, if not impossible travel conditions and isolated power outages.

Due to the storm, some public transportation systems were shut down.

Unfortunately, there was a major pileup in Clinton County, Pennsylvania involving 60 cars and trucks on interstate 80, killing two people and injuring several in the crash.

More than 1300 US flights were cancelled for Wednesday and Thursday, and the NJ Transit suspended some bus and rail services.

Apart from the snow, ice could also accumulate from North Carolina to Maryland, causing travel disruptions and power outages and damages across the East Coast, even after the storm passes by.

However, this storm is set to move onto the Atlantic by Thursday, with only some snowfall possible in New England.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

DMV Region Braces for First Major Winter Storm of the Year

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for areas of Maryland, DC, and Virginia to be in effect effective 7 AM Wednesday to 4 AM on Thursday.

Snow is to spread between 9 AM and 11 AM, and snow is expected to change over to a mixture of sleet and freezing rain during the afternoon, making travel very difficult with severe impact on the morning and evening commutes.

Because DC is located on the border of snow and rain change, weather tends to be especially difficult for prediction. However, the National Weather Service has issued a warning for the general DMV area, specifically in the areas of Northwest Montgomery, Northwest Howard Counties in Maryland, and East Loudoun County in Virginia for a total snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 6 inches and ice accumulations of up to 1/10th of an inch.

Washington DC and counties further west are currently under Winter Storm watches, and these regions are not expected to see much snow or ice.

However, as previously said, because it is difficult to predict the weather pattern around DC, while light dusting is expected for DC, up to 3 inches of snow could possibly fall on Washington, DC on Wednesday as well.

Some parts of Pennsylvania will see more than 12 inches of snow from this winter weather storm.

National Weather Service has advised that all those under warning have sufficient water and food just in case.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.