Delta Rings Danger for the Unvaccinated

While the vaccinated portion of the population is slowly returning to normalcy, those who chose not to be vaccinated are experiencing a resurging of deaths and hospitalizations resulting from the highly infectious delta variant of the Covid-19 disease.

Until recently, the U.S. coronavirus infection rates had been low, by June, the number was very small per 100,000 residents. However, as US residents remove their masks and begin traveling for the summer, the covid-positive rates are climbing back up, especially in states where vaccination rates were lower.

For example, Missouri’s case rate was way below the national average until quite recently; now its rate is higher than the national average.

As almost half of the US population is vaccinated (which provides some level of protection against covid-19, including some variants), when removing those from the population currently suffering from covid-positive results, the results show that the unvaccinated Missouri residents’ cases are as high as the rate in mid-January, which was at the peak of coronavirus infections.

The results are startlingly disproportionate; those who are unvaccinated are those exclusively showing higher infection rates, hospitalization rates, and death rates.

The CDC had loosened the mask mandate upon the arrival of summer for those vaccinated, as case numbers were dropping and millions of people were receiving vaccinations. However, according to research data provided by the Washington Post, unvaccinated people have a 91 percent higher susceptibility rate than those vaccinated.

Alarmingly, the rate of covid-positive related cases among the unvaccinated is continuing to rise. The current adjusted hospitalization rates are comparable to those seen in April, and death rate is comparable to that of May.

As new variants enter the population, the unvaccinated stand even less of a chance in defense against those. For example, the delta variant that wreaked havoc in India earlier this year is now wreaking havoc, especially in the unvaccinated population. In the vaccinated population, the delta variant shows up as a mild cold, whereas in the unvaccinated population, the delta variant continues to be as deadly as the original covid-19 had been last year.

William Powderly, infectious-disease specialist and director of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis explained that those that end up needing to go to the hospital, who end up in the intensive-care unit or die are almost all exclusively unvaccinated.

The results are starkly different. States with a low vaccinated population such as Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Louisiana are showing high spikes among the unvaccinated. Utah, Kansas, Alabama, and Alaska show rates slightly lower than the first group.

Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland which have some of the highest vaccination rates in the country show below-average spikes of infection with Virginia having the lowest infection rates, although those unvaccinated continue to remain vulnerable.

The Delta variant surge is so alarming that the Biden administration will continue the remote work for federal employees, and even Republican party members have urged their constituents to be vaccinated.

Ultimately, the faster the country gets vaccinated, the faster we all can return to normalcy and fearless day-to-day life. It’s just two shots, spaced two weeks apart.

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Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

Air Quality Poor in Northeast due to West Coast Wildfires

Some of the northeast states are experiencing poor air quality due to the more than 100 west-coast wildfires currently occurring. On top of that, there are 180 wildfires in Canada bringing worsening air quality into the U.S., and as of July, New York City shows AQI levels at 137, indicating unhealthy air quality, the highest number of this year so far.

According to Accuweather, “At this elevated number, health effects can be immediately felt by sensitive groups. Healthy individuals may experience difficulty breathing and throat irritation with prolonged exposure, and should limit outdoor activity.” Nevertheless, the danger remains higher for west coast residents than east coast residents as they have been directly hit by harsh wildfires and dry weather conditions which can threaten to burn down their homes.

“Due to the fact that smoke particles are small and light, they can be transported hundreds if not a few thousand miles away from their source,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex DaSilva explained. Under this condition, it is safer to engage in indoor activities rather than outdoor activities.

“Wildfire smoke consists of gases and fine particles from burning trees, plants, buildings and other burning materials,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone can get sick from inhaling the smoke who has asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and heart disease; children, people who are pregnant, and first responders are likely to be the most vulnerable.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

Oregon Bootleg Wildfire Adds onto Climate Change Concerns

Since July 6, wildfires have been burning continuously in 13 states with 83 large fires. At least 1,293,636 acres were burnt and more than 19,300 wildland firefighters and support personnel have been assigned to incidents. Most recently, the Bootleg Wildfire in Oregon is becoming a concern as it has destroyed 388,350 acreages overnight between Monday and Tuesday.

According to National Interagency Fire Center, “Seven fuels and fire behavior advisories have been issued for south/central Idaho, Northern California, Northern Rockies, and south/central Oregon. Many of these advisories describe extraordinarily dry fuels, resulting in elevated fire potential and fire activity.” It is currently only 30 percent contained.

The Governor of Oregon has attributed the increased number of uncontrollable yearly wildfires to climate change, citing the heatwave just a couple of weeks ago, the ice storms in February, and the loss of power in fall.

The fires are adding to additional heat in the atmosphere and create a type of clouds that create their own mini thunderstorm environment with strong winds and lightning for more chances of wildfires. With continued dry storms in the west, this can only lead to more hazardous conditions for people living in that region, as well as a higher risk for even more wildfires in the region.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

Joseph to Leave and Dr. Henry to be new PM of Haiti

Since July 7, Haiti’s President, Jovenel Moïse’s assassination, there was a political power struggle between Claude Joseph, the Interim prime minister (PM), and Dr. Ariel Henry (named PM by late President two days before his assassination).

Joseph has since accepted and decided to honor the late president’s wishes. 71-year-old neurosurgeon Dr. Ariel Henry will be the new Prime Minister of Haiti until the new election. According to NPR, “officially taking office as prime minister will be Ariel Henry (71),” as “it was part of the plan and wishes of late President Jovenel Moïse that he should lead a new coalition to be prime minister and form a new government,” said Mathias Pierre, Minister of Elections in Haiti.

Pierre stated that the transfer of power will take place in a public ceremony this Tuesday. Dr. Henry posted a brief address to the nation online Sunday night, saying “unity” and that he would soon announce a consensus government that leads the country until elections can be held to elect a new president.

Henry applauded the Haitian people for maturity in the face of “what could be called a coup d’état,” and that the president’s assassination was “unspeakable,” and “odious and revolting.” Henry has support from foreign powers including the U.S. diplomat, representatives from the United Nations, and the Organization of American States.

“I received calls from certain American diplomats in Haiti,” said Senate Lambart. “Also I received calls from diplomats in the U.S. State Department, who asked me to postpone so we had time to build a larger consensus.” He said that while the majority of Haitians don’t appreciate the postponing of certain Haitian events by foreign powers, Haiti remains influenced by them nonetheless due to its precarious state both as a developing country and as a country dealing with a lot of recovery efforts.

Mr. Joseph said he would now become the foreign minister in Mr. Henry’s cabinet.

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Alcohol Linked to More than 740,000 Cancer Cases in 2020

Currently, only 33% of Americans recognize alcohol as a cause of cancer. Harriet Rumgay, a researcher at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, explained that this awareness is about the average as other high-income countries as other parts of the world might be even less aware.

Approximately 4% of the world’s newly diagnosed cases of esophageal, mouth, larynx, colon, rectum, liver, and breast cancers in 2020 (741,300 people) is attributable to drinking alcohol; 3/4 of the alcohol-related cancers are males. Of the 1/4 females developing cancer, the majority were breast cancers. Research has quantified the risk; even relatively low levels of alcohol adds to the risk of new cancer cases.

Ethanol, for example, is a form of alcohol that breaks down to a known carcinogen called acetaldehyde, known to damage DNA and interfering with the cells’ ability to repair the damage. Alcohol can also increase hormones, such as estrogen, which signal cells to grow and divide. As more cells are created, so are more possibilities for cancerous cell division.

Alcohol also can prevent the body from absorbing certain nutrients known to help prevent cancer, such as vitamins A, C, D, E, and folate.

When a person engages in drinking and smoking, this will indirectly increase the risk of cancer, as the alcohol works to make it easier for the body to absorb the toxins in cigarettes; the more a person drinks, the more biological damage the person can expect.

The data was obtained using estimated global alcohol consumption estimates, specific cancer risks from alcohol, and global incidence of those cancers in 2020. To define what number counts in drinking, approximately 2 to 6 drinks a day equates to risk to heavy drinking. Moderate drinking is 2 or fewer drinks a day, but even that accounted for 14% (103,000 cases) of alcohol-related cancers.

The estimated number is a conservative one, as the study excluded former drinkers in the main analysis; they only looked at countrywide estimates of current drinkers and only at cancers where risk factor has been scientifically shown to increase with alcohol use. Cancers where alcohol use is only lightly suggested to be a link, such as pancreatic or stomach cancers, were not included.

The highest proportions of alcohol-related cancers were found in Moldova and Romania, but due to recent tax reforms, this number might drop. Emerging markets such as China, India, and Vietnam may likely see an increase in alcohol-related cancers as financial growth makes alcohol consumption easier. The lowest rates of alcohol-related cancers were found in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where alcohol use is banned.

Alcohol might feel like a momentary escape from the stress of the present moment, but it can leave you in a much worse state than before, in more ways than one. An embarrassing hangover might be the least of your worries.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

A woman punches a 6-year old kid, then demands release without Bail

A 57-year old woman named Shelly Ann Hill punched a 6-year old Korean-American boy in the neck in Las Vegas. She also hurled racial slurs at him and his mother. The physical assault happened as the family was leaving The Shops at Crystals, an upscale mall located in CityCenter complex.

The woman was seen having an unhinged meltdown, yelling “China” at one point. Then she eventually stopped, picked up her belongings, and was soon escorted out by a mall security personnel. However, the mall security simply let the woman go; the family has announced that they will press charges; it is unclear whether the boy needs additional medical treatment at this time.

She was later arrested and was put in jail. At a hearing on Tuesday, one of the prosecutors raised questions about the mental competency of the woman given that the 57-year old woman repeatedly told the judge she didn’t know why she was being charged with a hate crime and asked to be released from jail without bail.

It seems that this isn’t the first time Hill has been in custody; for example, although her defense attorney will have to seek a competency evaluation for Hill, she went through one since April 2018 in a number of state court cases. Most of her crimes were misdemeanor cases such as allegations of battery, larceny, obstruction, theft, trespassing, and vagrancy.

Even if she is released, she will not be allowed near the Las Vegas Strip area from this point on. Furthermore, her bail is currently set at $10,000. Hill remains behind bars.

Since ex-Pres. Trump’s statement about the coronavirus being a “China virus,” the Asian-American communities have been dealing with heightened abuse, some of them physically violent. Although experts have repeatedly explained that the origins of viral pandemics cannot actually be pinpointed to a single geopolitical location, it hasn’t stopped those in the political machine from using the pandemic to their advantage. The residual harmful effect of their careless words still impacts the lives of many Asian-American people living within the borders of the United States.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

The Enhanced Child Tax Credit Will Hit Your Bank Account on July 15

The Enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) is about to drive your home finances more flexible if you have children to the age of 17. At least 36 million homes will be impacted by this Biden administration’s aid. From July 15, eligible bank accounts will see a deposit, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Even those who didn’t file their tax return in 2019 and 2020 still can get the money from IRS if they prepare their tax file with IRS, and IRS will assist those who need help. Follow this link to get the free prep, https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5532.pdf

Most of the parents with children under the age of 6 will receive $3,600 per child in total. The parents will get $300 a month for each child under 6, and $250 a month for each child between ages 6 – 17 respectively from July to December. They can then claim the rest of the amount on their tax return next year.

This enhanced Child Tax Credit is intended to be a big help to the lower to middle-class income families.

Under the American Rescue Plan, this enhanced CTC will give $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 for each child between ages 6 to 17.  The original CTC excluded those who turned into17 and was limited to $2,000 per child. Basically, under the Biden administration, at least $1,000 to $1,600 increase is possible from the original CTC.

Aside from having children who are 17 or younger as of December 31, 2021, families will only qualify for the expanded credit if they fall below certain income thresholds:

  • $75,000 or less for single taxpayers
  • $112,500 or less for heads of household
  • $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return and qualified widows and widowers

The IRS on Tuesday said it had created a website that will allow people to check whether they qualify for the benefit, called the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant. To check whether you’ll receive the payments, you’ll need either your 2020 or 2019 tax return (if you haven’t yet filed for 2020). The IRS said if people don’t have a copy of their return, they may be able to use an estimate based on their W-2s or 1099s to determine eligibility.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

Church Clinic Series: Faith Productivity high

On July 26, 2021, at 7:30 PM, Church Clinic will sponsor another lecture on the series: Change to Church by the Pandemic.

미디어를 통한 다양한 사역을 통해 복음의 생산성을 높여보자

교회 함께 가자 처치클리닉(대표 손기성 목사)에서는 오는 26() 저녁7:30 팬데믹이 바꾼 교회 환경, 미디어와 교회라는 주제로 7 강좌가 진행된다. 강의는 빅토빌예수마음교회를 감임한 김성일 목사가맡아 한다. 김목사는 다양한 미디어들을 활용하여 어려운 이민 목회 사역과 지역 목회자들 간의 관계들을 돈독케했다. 그는 KAPC 교단 내에서도 미디어에 관련해서 교단과 교회에 여러 도움들을 주었고, 지역언론이나 매체들을 통해 기고하여 많은 관심있는 많은 분들에게 도움을 주기도 했다.  현재는 교단 총무로 섬기고있다.  목사는 오랜 시간 동교단에서 봐왔는데 홈페이지를 만들고 사이트를 관리하는 작업이 아닌 주변에간단하게 보고 접할  있는 미디어 기기들을 통해 복음을 전하고 사역을 효과적으로 강화해 나가는 방법을 이용하시는 분이다. 본인이 직접 미디어를 통한 목회를 다양하게 펼쳐온 부분을 제시할 것이다. 어렵지않게 쉽게 목회자들이 따라하면  도움이 되리라 본다. 특히 펜대믹의 상황이 쉽게 진정될 것같지 않은 지금 상황과 목회자들이 자신이 처한 환경속에서 사역의 생상성을 극대화 시켜볼  있는 기회를 경험하게 것이라 생각한다. 목회자  아니라 요즘 줌이나 유튜버 같은 소셜미디어들을 통해 당양한 사역들을 경험하고 있고, 생각이 있는 분이라면 누구나 참여가 가능하다.” 했다. 자세한 문의는 703-334-7602 혹은[email protected] 하면된다. 온라인으로 진행되며 사전접수가 필요하다

The lecture will be presented by Pastor Sung-Il Kim, who has used social media extensively to reach out to the public about the Word of faith. He will explain how to do more than just maintaining a website in promulgating the Word of God.

Anyone interested may attend the lecture; it will be available online. Registration will also be open online, and registration prior to the event is necessary.

Those interested may call 1-703-334-7602 or e-mail [email protected]

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Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

Two Haitian-Americans arrested for assassination of Haiti’s President

Around pre-dawn on July 7, 2021, President Moïse was assassinated, and First Lady Martine was injured during an attack at their residence in Pétion-Ville. Prime Minister Claude Joseph became Acting President and immediately blamed the attack on “a group of unidentified individuals, some of whom spoke in Spanish and English.” Joseph stated that he was now in control of the country.

Four people in total were killed at the scene, and two are still missing. Two people have been arrested as suspects in the assassination. These two suspects that are under custody are Haitian Americans who hid in bushes but were later captured by Haitian police. The crowd yelled out to seek justice for their President’s assassination in protest.

Pres. Moïse had named Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon as the next prime minister just one day before he was assassinated. At the moment, PM Joseph is in charge, rather than Ariel Henry. Although Haiti’s law states that the Supreme Court Chief Justice would replace the President, the Chief Justice had recently passed away from Covid-19.

Haiti had been struggling even more so in recent years, as uncontrolled inflation and gang violence plague the island nation, and people are struggling to secure food and fuel. 60 percent of the population earns less than $2 a day while trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Pres. Moïse had faced harsh criticism and protest from the populous for trying to open up elections and make the process more democratically friendly. It is not clear who will succeed Moïse’s legacy and what will happen to the power vacuum in Haiti.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

The Ever Given is finally FREE

The Ever Given Cargo vessel, Panama flagged cargo ship, with a Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd.) finally reached the deal on the price of blocking the Suez Canal with the Egyptian authorities on Wednesday.

Under the pandemic, this cargo vessel stalled at the Suez for over 3 months and is finally free to move onto its final destination with help, as a tugboat came to pull the ship out to the Mediterranean Sea. According to AP, “A deal that achieved justice and prioritized both parties’ interests has been reached,” Lt. Gen. Ossama Rabei, head of the Suez Canal said. “It ended a crisis that lasted for more than three months.”

The original price tag was $916 million in compensation but has since lowered to $550 million with a tugboat in its settlement. The compensation will cover the salvage operation, costs of stalled canal traffic, and lost transit fees for the six days the Ever Given had blocked the Suez canal. This vessel was supposed to go to the Dutch port of Rotterdam on March 23 but didn’t make it due to the ship being stuck at the canal after slammed banks of the canal about 3.7miles north of the southern entrance.

Hundreds and thousands of ships behind it were equally stalled, waiting to pass through for at least a week, while some ships turned around to take other routes, like the Cape of Good Hope at South Africa. While the Ever Given ship was stuck in the Suez, some economic crisis concerns such as supply shortage and rising prices were experienced by the global economy, which was already suffering from the pandemic.

The Ever Given cargo vessel was directed to and stayed at the Great Bitter Lake in Egypt for more than 3 months due to the pending settlement issue with Egyptian authority. It is only now that the Ever Given will continue its way home, with $550 million paid to pass through.

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Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.