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US Maintains Entry Restrictions Due To Rising Delta COVID-19 Cases

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The United States said Monday it would maintain restrictions on international travel into the country, sidestepping European pressure, as cases rise of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

“We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

“The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and abroad,” she said.

She said the trend of rising cases appeared likely to continue “in the weeks ahead,” although she repeated that it mostly affected unvaccinated people.

The United States has restricted travel from the European Union, Britain, China and Iran for more than a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, later adding other countries including Brazil and India.

The European Union in June opened up to travelers from the United States, typically requiring proof of vaccination or negative tests, under pressure from tourism-dependent nations such as Greece, Spain and Italy that feared another troubled year.

EU leaders have asked the United States to show reciprocity and President Joe Biden on July 15 said he would have an answer on the issue “within the next several days” after appeals by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Putin In Self-Isolation After Possible Exposure To Coronavirus

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed to the national cabinet on Tuesday that he was self-isolating after contacts with several Coronavirus-positive people.

He added that one of them was inoculated against the Coronavirus but did not manage to get a booster shot timely.

“I had to postpone my visit to Tajikistan, because several people in my close entourage fell ill. One of them, a person who works in close contact with me, was vaccinated, and his antibody titer decreased and he got re-vaccinated.

“It appeared that it was a bit late, as I believe he felt ill three days after re-vaccination.

“I communicated with him all day long,” Putin said.

The Russian leader assured that his antibody titer was still high. (Sputnik/NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Founder Of South Korea’s Biggest Church, Cho Yong-gi Dies At 85

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South Korean Pastor David Yongi Cho, who used to have the largest church and congregation in the world has died at the age of 85.

Yongi Cho died on Tuesday.

With his mother-in-law Choi Ja-shil, he was a cofounder of the Yoido Full Gospel Church (Assemblies of God), the world’s largest congregation, with a claimed membership of 830,000 as of 2007.

Cho was born on February 14, 1936, in Ulju-gun, now part of Ulsan metropolitan city. The son of Cho Doo-chun and Kim Bok-sun, Cho was the eldest of five brothers and four sisters. He graduated from middle school with honours.

Because his father’s sock and glove business went bankrupt, he could not afford high school or university tuition.

Subsequently, he enrolled in an inexpensive technical high school to learn a trade. At the same time, he began frequenting an American army base near his school, and learned English from soldiers whom he befriended.

He mastered English quickly, and became an interpreter for the commander of the army base, and also for the principal of his school.

Raised initially as a Buddhist, Cho converted to Christianity at the age of 17, after a beautiful girl visited him telling him about Jesus Christ, before he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Sensing God calling him to the ministry, Cho began working as an interpreter for the American evangelist Ken Tize. In 1956, he received a scholarship to study theology at Full Gospel Bible College in Seoul. While there, he met Choi Ja-shil, who became his mother-in-law and a close ministerial associate. He graduated in March 1958.

Cho had spent more than 44 years emphasizing the importance of cell group ministry, which he believed was the key to church growth, as well as team ministry.

In November 1976, Cho founded Church Growth International, an organization dedicated to teaching the principles of evangelism and church growth to pastors all over the world. In January 1986, he led the way in establishing the Elim Welfare Town, a facility for the elderly, the young, the homeless, and the unemployed. The latter would be given training and a choice of four occupations.

In 1988, he founded newspaper company, Kukmin Ilbo. He was Chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship from 1992 to 2000 and did not pursue another term, and has served as Chairman of the Korean Christian Leaders Association since November 1998. He had also served as Chairman of the Good People charity organization since February 1999.

In 2008, Cho retired, with Young Hoon Lee succeeding him as senior pastor.

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World Bank: Climate Change may Force 216m People on Internal Migration by 2050

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The World Bank’s updated Groundswell report released on Monday revealed that climate change, an increasingly potent driver of migration, could force 216 million people across six world regions to move within their countries by 2050.

Hotspots of internal climate migration could emerge as early as 2030 and continue to spread and intensify by 2050, it said.

The report also discovered that immediate and concerted action to reduce global emissions and support green, inclusive and resilient development could reduce the scale of climate migration by as much as 80 per cent.

Climate change is a powerful driver of internal migration because of its impacts on people’s livelihoods and loss of livability in highly exposed locations.

By 2050, sub-Saharan Africa could see as many as 86 million internal climate migrants; East Asia and the Pacific, 49 million; South Asia, 40 million; North Africa, 19 million; Latin America, 17 million; and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, five million.

The Vice-President of Sustainable Development, World Bank, Juergen Voegele, said: “The Groundswell report is a stark reminder of the human toll of climate change, particularly on the world’s poorest — those who are contributing the least to its causes. It also clearly lays out a path for countries to address some of the key factors that are causing climate-driven migration.

“All these issues are fundamentally connected which is why our support to countries is positioned to deliver on climate and development objectives together while building a more sustainable, safe and resilient future.”

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