South Korea starts virus checks on 200,000-plus sect members

first_imgThe vast majority — more than 80 percent — of Wednesday’s new infections were in Daegu and the neighboring province of North Gyeongsang, which between them account for the bulk of the national total.An American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll 30 kilometers north of Daegu tested positive for the virus, commanders said, the first infection among the 28,500 troops Washington stations in the South to defend it against the nuclear-armed North.The 23-year-old serviceman had been put in self-quarantine at his home, US Forces Korea said, adding it was conducting “contact tracing” to determine whether other soldiers had been exposed.The streets of Daegu — population of 2.5 million — have been largely deserted for days, apart from long queues at the few shops with masks for sale.Authorities have urged the public to exercise extra caution, advising citizens to stay home if they have a fever or respiratory symptoms. But they say they are not considering putting the city in lockdown the way China did for Wuhan, where the virus first emerged.Scores of events have been cancelled or postponed as the outbreak has spread in the world’s 12th-largest economy, from K-pop concerts to the start of the K-league football season and the World Team Table Tennis championships, while museums and other public venues have closed.In Daegu, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a meeting the government would “mobilize all resources and means” to try to control the outbreak.South Korea has an advanced medical system, a free press and a strong culture of public accountability, and observers say that its health statistics can be treated with confidence. Topics : More than 200,000 members of a religious sect were being checked for coronavirus symptoms by South Korean authorities Wednesday, as US commanders reported the first case among American forces in the country.Most of South Korea’s novel coronavirus are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an entity often accused of being a cult.After days of mounting public anger, the secretive Shincheonji group handed over a list of 212,000 members, the government said.center_img Local authorities across the country — which has more coronavirus cases than anywhere else outside China — will check if they have symptoms of fever or respiratory disease and put them in quarantine at home if so, said vice health minister Kim Gang-lip.Shincheonji claims its founder Lee Man-hee has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgment.A 61-year-old female member developed a fever on February 10, but attended at least four church services in Daegu — the country’s fourth-largest city and the epicenter of the outbreak — before being diagnosed.The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 284 new infections Wednesday — its largest daily increase to date —  taking the overall national tally to 1,261, with the death toll rising to 12.last_img read more

Indonesian pastor speaks out against racism in US, experiences backlash at home

first_img“I thought I [fled] Indonesia, and I came here so I could breathe freedom. But I look at what has been happening since last week, and my heart has just melted.”Indonesian netizens have since fired back at the priest’s speech. Some claimed that Indonesia had always protected the rights of minority groups and had therefore been described inaccurately.“Dear Oscar Surjadi, Indonesia is a very safe and harmonious country for minorities. In this country, all minority faiths are given national holidays to observe their respective holy days. You must know about this if you were born in Indonesia. Stop disparaging your own country abroad!” @Hilmi28 tweeted on Thursday.Other Twitter users accused Oscar of treason, saying his speech was a deliberate attempt to smear Indonesia’s reputation abroad. An Indonesian priest based in the United States has caused a stir on social media because of a speech he made during a recent Black Lives Matter protest that referenced Indonesia’s history of discrimination.In a video that has now gone viral, Portland City Blessing Church lead pastor Oscar Surjadi addresses a group of protesters gathered in a public square in Portland.“I came to the US – not for this. I was born in Indonesia and I know what it means [to experience] prejudice and discrimination,” Oscar said in the video. “Oscar Surjadi is a traitor. He is one of the nation’s enemies,” @404Termux tweeted.According to the church’s official website, Oscar has served as the general overseer of the Portland City Blessing Church in Portland, Oregon, since 1998.Read also: Chinese-Indonesians must support #PapuanLivesMatterOscar, who was born in Jakarta, left business school and abandoned his career in New York to attend Philadelphia College of Bible in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1995. He was anointed a full-time minister the same year.Despite widespread claims of cultural and religious tolerance at a national level, Indonesian minorities have often faced discrimination and outright bigotry amid the world’s largest Muslim population.A survey conducted by the Indonesian Survey Circle in September 2019 found that nearly 60 percent of the country’s Muslims were against the idea of non-Muslims being elected president.More than 50 percent of the survey’s Muslim respondents were also against the idea of non-Muslims building houses of worship in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods.Last December, Christian residents of Kampung Baru village in Dharmasraya regency in the predominantly Muslim province of West Sumatra were told by local police officers not to hold Christmas services in their own community.The police’s suggestion was apparently made in response to a letter sent by village leaders earlier that month banning the community of about 16 families from celebrating Christmas in the neighborhood.Other minority groups, such as Papuans, have frequently been subjected to acts of racism over the years.Papua Police officers wrapped a snake around a native Papuan they suspected of theft during an interrogation last February. The police have since apologized for the act.Last August, riots broke out in several provinces in the archipelago as people protested the racial abuse of Papuan students in East Java.The death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while being arrested in the US, and the ensuing global outcry have sparked renewed public discourse about racism against Papuans in Indonesia.Topics :last_img read more

Organizers considering changing kick-off times for FirsTrust G6 matches after floodlight failure

first_imgOrganizers are considering changing kick-off times for the FirsTrust GHALCA 6 tournament after the opening day was disrupted by floodlight hitches.The second match on Tuesday was delayed as both Hearts of Oak and Aduana Stars had to wait for close to an hour after the lights went off on the 13th minute.Despite the match ending successfully, GHALCA and their sponsors agreed on changing kick-off times for rest of the tournament matches to avoid subsequent power problems.First matches were to kick-off at 4pm and second matches to kick-off at 6:30pm everyday but due to inconsistent power at Essipong Stadium first matches of the tournament have been confirmed to kick-off at 1:30pm and the other at 3:45pm.The change in kick-off times have affected following matches of the FirsTrust GHALCA Six tournament:Day 2 Match 1 – 8th January, 2016 Asante Kotoko vs. Berekum ChelseaKick-off at 1:30pmDay 2 Match 2 – 8th January, 2016Hearts of Oak vs. Medeama SCKick-off at 3:45pm Day 3 Match 1 – 9th January, 2016Aduana Stars vs. Medeama SCKick-off at 1:30pmDay 3 Match 2 – 9th January, 2016Ashanti Gold vs. Asante Kotoko Kick-off at 3:45pmDay 4 Finals – 10th January, 2016Kick-off at 3:45pm.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more