Pres. Biden offers $100 to newly vaccinated Americans

President Biden announced on Thursday that he wanted the state and local governments to spend the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan funds to give away $100 per individual to encourage vaccinations.

President Biden stated, “I know that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks that have gotten vaccinated already but here’s the deal: if incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them,” and “We all benefit if we can get more people vaccinated.” in the announcement Today.

This payment will be offered to the newly vaccinated Americans encouraging get vaccinations to “protect communities and lives.” The Treasury Department has reported that it would be willing to assist the local and state governments to manage this process.

Biden administration has put effort to eradicate this pandemic as soon as possible but has found the Delta variant a huge hindrance to that goal. Biden signed this $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law which includes $350 billion in funding to assist states and local governments battling the coronavirus.

It is not sure whether this will encourage the 30% or so of the unvaccinated Americans from being vaccinated; however, those that have been vaccinated already are voicing their general dissatisfaction at Biden’s new proposal.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

Tokyo Reports Record COVID-19 Infections; Olympics Continue

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is underway, with the United States currently trailing behind Japan in gold medals, with 9 gold medals and total 25 medals.

At the same time in Tokyo, covid-19 infection numbers are continuing to rise, with the city still under a state of emergency with restrictive measures. For months, the residents of Tokyo protested against the holding of the Olympics during a pandemic, yet the leadership pushed through, citing the International Olympics Committee as the reason.

Tokyo continues to show high covid-19 infection rates (despite the criticized lackadaisical attitude towards testing), with 2,848 new covid-19 cases, the highest daily count. However, it might be that the Japanese residents are somewhat misunderstanding the role of the Olympians and staff on the infection rate, rather, they themselves might not be as protective or cautious as they think.

For example, over the past three days, only a little more than 9,000 tests were administered in Tokyo on average, positivity rate being around 30 percent. Japan as a whole showed rates of 7,000 infections, which is as high as back in January.

In comparison, more than 37,000 tests were administered to the Olympic arrivals at the major international airports in Japan, with only 30 positive cases. That’s a positivity rate of 0.08 percent. Further, more than 240,000 tests were completed on people related to the Olympics, with just 52 positive cases or 0.02 percent positive cases.

In fact, the behavior of Tokyo residents shows that they themselves are not keeping themselves in social distance. Although the state of emergency and the lack of spectators rules were imposed to protect Tokyo residents, central Tokyo is crowded, with neighborhoods remaining lively at night. The Nikkei newspaper reported more than 50 percent of bars and restaurants in Shinjuku were not following government guidelines, citing the delay in official compensation payments.

Olympians and staff however, are under constant surveillance under the strictest covid-19 cases. For example, they can only remove their mask for 30 seconds during the medal ceremonies.

Another interesting aspect to note is that the Olympians have a higher vaccination rate than the Tokyo residents; 85 percent of competitors and 70 percent of media representatives versus 25 percent national average.

Of course, Japan’s vaccination percentage is focused on the elderly, and PM Suga has stated that those under the age of 40 include a higher percentage hospitalized and to maintain strictest protections.

It seems that Japan should have and should be worried about maintaining enforcement on their own population rather than the mostly vaccinated outsiders there to compete at the Olympics.

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

Vaccine Mandated by Department of Veterans Affairs

As delta and lambda variants threaten to return the U.S. to the pre-covid vaccine era of 2020, governments and health groups are requiring vaccines for all of its eligible workers. The Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA), the state of California, New York City, and the Mayo Clinic are some of the first to be rolling out this mandate.

The VA has the highest impact, as it is one of the nation’s largest health systems. It announced Monday that front-line workers would be receiving mandatory coronavirus vaccines; it is also the first federal agency to be implementing this mandate. This move by the VA is supported by many in Congress, including Republican members who are now afraid that the anti-vax and vaccine-hesitant population will reverse the progress made and force businesses to close down once more.

As the new, more infectious variants enter the population, places like California and New York City which saw the highest infection rates last year are mandating vaccines or weekly testing for its employees.

This is the first concerted effort by all interested parties to get as many people vaccinated. VA mandate will apply to more than 100,000 front-line workers, New York City’s mandate will affect 45,000 workers, and California’s mandate will affect more than 2.2 million employees and health workers. Many are concerned about the uptick of delta infections especially among the unvaccinated, as the unvaccinated often end up with more serious illnesses due to the delta variant than the population that has been vaccinated.

The number increase is no joke. California saw 900 serious covid-19 cases in June. That number has gone up to 3,000. Nationwide, the caseload has again increased from 13,000 cases a day in early July to 54,000 cases a day.

Currently, about 60 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated and the data had been showing a decrease in immunizations since mid-April. According to WebMD, at least 25% of healthcare workers are still not vaccinated by end of May. Most private employers hesitate on putting up vaccine mandates for their workers due to fear of lawsuits or staff loss; only 9% of hospitals in the U.S. currently support a mandate for vaccination.

Given that the vaccine is free for everyone, the President has pleaded with everyone to get the vaccine, and the population has even been cajoled, the slow uptake in vaccination among the rest of the population is worrisome.

Please note that the vaccine is safe for most people and that everyone is given the vaccine, not just any singled out race or gender. Let’s prevent the onset of delta infections and the re-closing of all economies by getting vaccinated. If schools have to be shut down again because of high infection rates, it’ll be a daycare nightmare for many parents again as well.

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

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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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.

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

 

United Airlines To Expand, Buying 270 New Planes

United Airlines announced that it has ordered 270 new aircraft for domestic travelers. Since the pandemic, there has been a rebound of domestic travelers instead of international travelers. As a result, United Airlines will be replacing the older aircraft, improve seatback entertainment, and space for carry-on bags with new aircraft features.

According to United Airlines, this is the “the largest combined order in the airline’s history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade,” and “The ‘United Next’ plan will have a transformational effect on the customer experience and is expected to increase the total number of available seats per domestic departure by almost 30%, significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and create tens of thousands of quality, unionized jobs by 2026, all efforts that will have a positive, ripple effect across the broader U.S. economy.”

“Our United Next vision will revolutionize the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “By adding and upgrading this many aircraft so quickly with our new signature interiors, we’ll combine friendly, helpful service with the best experience in the sky, all across our premier global network. At the same time, this move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy – we expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending, and commerce.”

United Airlines received $54 billion in federal aids, and most of them were grants. The government gave aids to US-based Airlines in exchange for not cutting jobs or pay rates, though thousands of workers received furlough notice from the companies and received cut pay rates for certain periods of time.

For example, while American Airlines furloughed almost 20% of its workers, it also paid out $1.4 million bonuses for the CEO last year, drawing criticism.

However, many airline employees chose to move onto other jobs, and now, airlines are struggling to fill their rosters, although United is hiring again for the new aircraft operations in its 7 hubs. According to United Airlines, at least 25,000 jobs will be created with new aircraft orders. Currently, the airline supports about 68,000 union jobs, and 89% of jobs are mostly the airline’s total domestic workforce. Some of this hiring will be done at D.C.’s Dulles Airport hub.

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

 

 

Pandemic Changes Peoples’ Preference

People in the U.S. are changing their minds about many things now that they’ve experienced a pandemic. They prefer to do more family-oriented things than spend that time at work. In April 2021 alone, 4 million workers quit their jobs. Since the pandemic hit, many people have been working from home or at places near their homes. As a result, more workers are hesitant to return to a life of extensive commuting time or to the office, where they have to spend needless hours engaging in things like work politics.

According to the Labor Department, the U.S. population wants more money, easier or no commute, and more flexibility in terms of their employment. People would rather spend the time to be with their family than spend it at the office. As corporations seek to bring people back post-pandemic, they are facing increasing hesitation and friction against returning to the office, especially now that many workers have finally adjusted back to working from home. Furthermore, many workers have also realized that they can perform their jobs at home, as last year is evidence of this.

People are reassessing what they value in light of the pandemic. That promotion doesn’t seem as attractive now as it might have been prior to the pandemic. Some people have realized that they earn more money from unemployment than from their minimum-wage jobs and are reevaluating their options. The fact is that the labor market is currently lacking incentives for people to want to return to the ways prior to the pandemic.

The shortage of workforce might lead to the end of the debate of raising the minimum wage; if no one wants to work at minimum wage, then those jobs will not be filled. Some companies requiring minimum wage workers are now attempting to lure in workers using “sign-up bonuses” and other incentives to get people back to the office.

However, most people are now demanding flexible work arrangements and higher pay, especially now that they know these things are possible. The labor market will have to meet the demands of its desired workers or not have the supply of workers they need. Simple economic concept.

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Coree ILBO/CoreeDaily 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.