Regime ramps up construction of memorial stones glorifying Kim Jong Un

first_img Regime ramps up construction of memorial stones glorifying Kim Jong Un North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again By Kang Mi Jin – 2017.04.19 5:59pm A memorial stone commemorating on-site inspections by Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un, released by North Korean media on April 28 2016. Image: Yonhap News Agency News Facebook Twitter Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] News The North Korean authorities have ordered residents and soldiers to build new memorial stones for Kim Jong Un as part of a wider idolization campaign to promote his legitimacy as a leader from the royal bloodline.“Recently, the regions that have previously received a personal site visit from Kim Jong Un are going to have new memorial stones celebrating the visit. In the past, the priority task for such locations used to be fulfilling the orders given by the leader during the inspection, but now the construction of monuments has become the top priority,” a source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on April 17. “Recently, military cadres have been prioritizing the construction of these monuments to celebrate Kim Jong Un’s site visits. The memorial stones are illuminated even at night because solar panels are installed for them, while the hospitals and kitchens for the army do not receive enough electricity,” a source in Kangwon Province added.Both sources noted that the movement of stone for the memorials can be seen all across the country. A memorial stone is a monument that commemorates the revolutionary achievements of the Kim family at particular sites. The North Korean authorities have been building commemorative and memorial stones at select locations with abundant sunlight following on-site inspections by the leader.There are rumors spreading that if the memorial stones turn out to have aesthetic issues or are installed in suboptimal locations, those responsible will meet the same fate as Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Un’s uncle (who was executed in 2013 on a charge of “anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts”). This is because rumor among residents is that Jang Song Thaek also interfered with construction of memorial stones and wall mosaics for the Kim family, even instructing the army to build them in remote corners.“Some cadres are murmuring amongst themselves that the memorial stones must be prioritized to avoid meeting the same fate as Jang Song Thaek. Military commanders are matching this fervor out of fear rather than loyalty,” a source in Ryanggang Province said.In addition, military commanders are said to be granting leave to soldiers so that they can procure funds and collect the materials for construction.“Soldiers who promise to prepare the construction materials needed for the memorial stones are given vacations to visit their hometowns. Some soldiers are claiming that they will acquire solar panels so that they can visit their homes, even though they know there’s no way their parents can afford the equipment,” he said.Many point out that inducing loyalty in this fashion will not last. The construction of idolization monuments through coercion and incentives will instead have the opposite effect, further widening the gulf between the regime and the people, despite slogans stating that they are “one and the same.”“The army chiefs have no choice but to force the soldiers to prepare the materials, and the pressure is eventually put on their parents. How are we supposed to show such loyalty when we barely have enough to eat? We just end up bearing the brunt of orders from obsequious cadres,” the Ryanggang-based source added. There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest SHARE RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News NewsEconomylast_img read more

New variants raise worry about COVID-19 virus reinfections

first_imgHomeNewsNew variants raise worry about COVID-19 virus reinfections Feb. 09, 2021 at 5:00 amNewsNew variants raise worry about COVID-19 virus reinfectionsGuest Author4 months agocovidCOVID-19 Evidence is mounting that having COVID-19 may not protect against getting infected again with some of the new variants. People also can get second infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus if they mounted a weak defense the first time, new research suggests.How long immunity lasts from natural infection is one of the big questions in the pandemic. Scientists still think reinfections are fairly rare and usually less serious than initial ones, but recent developments around the world have raised concerns.In South Africa, a vaccine study found new infections with a variant in 2% of people who previously had an earlier version of the virus.In Brazil, several similar cases were documented with a new variant there. Researchers are exploring whether reinfections help explain a recent surge in the city of Manaus, where three-fourths of residents were thought to have been previously infected.In the United States, a study found that 10% of Marine recruits who had evidence of prior infection and repeatedly tested negative before starting basic training were later infected again. That work was done before the new variants began to spread, said one study leader, Dr. Stuart Sealfon of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.“Previous infection does not give you a free pass,” he said. “A substantial risk of reinfection remains.”Reinfections pose a public health concern, not just a personal one. Even in cases where reinfection causes no symptoms or just mild ones, people might still spread the virus. That’s why health officials are urging vaccination as a longer-term solution and encouraging people to wear masks, keep physical distance and wash their hands frequently.“It’s an incentive to do what we have been saying all along: to vaccinate as many people as we can and to do so as quickly as we can,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert.“My looking at the data suggests … and I want to underline suggests … the protection induced by a vaccine may even be a little better” than natural infection, Fauci said.Doctors in South Africa began to worry when they saw a surge of cases late last year in areas where blood tests suggested many people had already had the virus.Until recently, all indications were “that previous infection confers protection for at least nine months,” so a second wave should have been “relatively subdued,” said Dr. Shabir Madhi of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.Scientists discovered a new version of the virus that’s more contagious and less susceptible to certain treatments. It now causes more than 90% of new cases in South Africa and has spread to 40 countries including the United States.Madhi led a study testing Novavax’s vaccine and found it less effective against the new variant. The study also revealed that infections with the new variant were just as common among people who had COVID-19 as those who had not.“What this basically tells us, unfortunately, is that past infection with early variants of the virus in South Africa does not protect” against the new one, he said.In Brazil, a spike in hospitalizations in Manaus in January caused similar worry and revealed a new variant that’s also more contagious and less vulnerable to some treatments.“Reinfection could be one of the drivers of these cases,” said Dr. Ester Sabino of the University of Sao Paulo. She wrote an article in the journal Lancet on possible explanations. “We have not yet been able to define how frequently this is happening,” she said.California scientists also are investigating whether a recently identified variant may be causing reinfections or a surge of cases there.“We’re looking at that now,” seeking blood samples from past cases, said Jasmine Plummer, a researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, said it soon would report on what he called “the Los Angeles variant.”New variants were not responsible for the reinfections seen in the study of Marines — it was done before the mutated viruses emerged, said Sealfon, who led that work with the Naval Medical Research Center. Other findings from the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine; the new ones on reinfection are posted on a research website.The study involved several thousand Marine recruits who tested negative for the virus three times during a two-week supervised military quarantine before starting basic training.Among the 189 whose blood tests indicated they had been infected in the past, 19 tested positive again during the six weeks of training. That’s far less than those without previous infection — “almost half of them became infected at the basic training site,” Sealfon said.The amount and quality of antibodies that previously infected Marines had upon arrival was tied to their risk of getting the virus again. No reinfections caused serious illness, but that does not mean the recruits were not at risk of spreading infection to others, Sealfon said.“It does look like reinfection is possible. I don’t think we fully understand why that is and why immunity has not developed” in those cases, said an immunology expert with no role in the study, E. John Wherry of the University of Pennsylvania.“Natural infections can leave you with a range of immunity” while vaccines consistently induce high levels of antibodies, Wherry said.“I am optimistic that our vaccines are doing a little bit better.”Tags :covidCOVID-19share on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentSchools plan for potential of remote learning into the fallBriefsYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall5 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson16 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter16 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor16 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press16 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press16 hours agolast_img read more

Colonial cast worthy of a Jenkins tale

first_imgFORT WORTH, Texas – On Tuesday, university officials are going to name the press box at nearby TCU stadium after legendary sports writer Dan Jenkins. The Fort Worth native is as much a part of this community as BBQ and Ben Hogan. Well, BBQ for sure. But it does make one wonder why the press center at Colonial isn’t already named in his honor. Just imagine if the all-world scribe, who made a cameo at Colonial earlier this week, was perched behind his laptop at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational on Saturday. His signature simplicity would probably recall that 54-hole front-runner Webb Simpson is the guy who won the U.S. Open that should have gone to Jim Furyk if not for a filthy set-up curveball from the USGA on Sunday. That Stewart Cink, who is tied for fourth place with Kevin Kisner and three shots off Simpson’s pace, is the guy who won Tom Watson’s Open Championship in ’09 at Turnberry; and Paul Casey – who is tied for second place at 7 under with Danny Lee – was last seen dusting off the American side with a walk-off ace at the 2006 Ryder Cup. None of that is fair or even accurate – Simpson has won since his U.S. Open breakthrough in ’12 and Casey has reinvented himself into a top-15 player – but then Jenkins’ gift has always been his insightful brevity. Jenkins would have commented about Saturday’s heat, which included a heat index of 108 degrees. Perhaps figuring that Texas has four seasons – drought, flood, blizzard and twister. He’d also probably make a biting observation over the lack of brisket in the Dan Jenkins Press Center media dining. But most of all, Jenkins would marvel at the play through three windswept and simmering days at Colonial, which includes a shrine to the World Golf Hall of Famer in the clubhouse. Dean & DeLuca Invitational: Articles, photos and videos Having played Colonial regularly, perhaps even with Hogan himself, he would consider Simpson’s third-round 67 something much more impressive than the sum of its math. Simpson had just a single bogey on Day 3, played the aptly named Horrible Horseshoe, Nos. 3 through 5, in even par and pulled away from the field with birdies at Nos. 10 and 11 for a two-stroke advantage on a course that rarely allows that type of breathing room. “I’m thrilled to have the lead. I think it’s been awhile. I don’t know how long it’s been,” said Simpson, who dropped an overtime decision to Hideki Matsuyama earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “I was happy to go out in the last group today and hit some good shots, make some good putts in this environment to kind of get me ready for tomorrow.” Jenkins would recognize the journey that Casey has been on the last few years as he recovered from injury and off-course distractions to become a world-class player again. He’s found the consistency he once enjoyed but now must discover a way to translate that into trophies. At 39 years old, perspective has become a sympathetic counterpart for the Englishman. “It’s pressure every week. It’s still a stacked leaderboard. A lot of very talented, brilliant guys near the top of it,” Casey said. “I feel a pretty good calmness. Yeah, I’d desperately love to win and I will try my best tomorrow. I don’t know, 17 years of doing this I’m certainly not soft, but there is more calm than there used to be.” Cink’s story would resonate with Jenkins. Although the six-time Tour winner described Colonial as “cute,” which is probably not what anyone this side of the Trinity River would care to hear, he is playing this season on a career money list exemption; think of it as a lifeline for those who aren’t interested in the golden fairways of the PGA Tour Champions just yet. Cink missed six weeks last year to be with his wife, Lisa, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and understandably struggled for much of 2016. But if sentimentality doesn’t make fans for Cink, his perspective after two decades on Tour surely counts for style points. “It’s exciting to get a chance,” he said of his Sunday outlook. “I think in your career out here, season after season, you give yourself five or six chances to win, being in the mix on Sunday, and of one of those times it might happen; maybe more.” Jenkins may also point out it hasn’t been a great week for chalk, with the week’s top-ranked players struggling with the wind and heat. Jordan Spieth, whose caddie succumbed to heat exhaustion and had to be replaced midway through the round, avoided the type of early lapse that defined his first two rounds at Colonial, but failed to make up any ground on the lead with a 2-under 68 that left him tied for eighth place, five shots back. Phil Mickelson rebounded on Saturday with a 69, but his 5-over card on Friday means he’ll start the final lap in the middle of the pack; and Jenkins may have appreciated Sergio Garcia’s purple pants, TCU’s colors, if not his 1-over card or the 29 putts he needed to finish his Saturday. But most of all, Jenkins would point out the brilliance of Colonial, which is something of a museum piece on the modern Tour at just over 7,200 yards, but has once again produced a crowded and compelling leaderboard.last_img read more

Judge Halts Logging Projects Over Threat to Bears

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email HELENA – A federal judge has blocked three logging projects in the Kootenai National Forest over claims they would harm the area’s endangered grizzly bear population.The Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed the lawsuit in November to stop the projects meant to reduce fire danger and provide commercial logging opportunities.The environmental group says 14 miles of proposed new logging roads could harm the approximately 45 grizzlies in the Cabinet-Yaak area. The federal government’s recovery goal is at least 100 grizzly bears in the region.U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on Tuesday ordered the projects halted until the U.S. Forest Service addresses what he called deficiencies in the projects.last_img read more

Game Notes: No. 3 UWF heads to Lee for GSC series

first_img CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The No. 3 West Florida baseball team heads north to Cleveland, Tenn. this weekend to play conference newcomer Lee. The Argonauts (22-5, 14-3) are tied for first in the Gulf South Conference standings while the Flames (21-10, 6-4) sit in fourth place.UWF plays Lee in a three-game series beginning with a doubleheader Saturday, March 30, at 2 p.m. ET. The Argos wrap up the series with the Flames Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.Live Coverage:Live statsLive audioGame Notes3/28 @ LeeAbout the FlamesLee is in its second year of transition to NCAA Division II and its first year as a provisional member of the GSC. Games against Lee count in the conference standings, but the Flames are not eligible for the postseason or postseason awards.Last season, Lee advanced to the NAIA World Series where it finished third to conclude the season 51-12. The Flames have won at least 50 games in all seven seasons under coach Mark Brew. He’s led Lee to six consecutive NAIA World Series appearances, finishing in third or better each time. This will be the Flames first series of the season against one of the top three teams in the GSC.Polls and RankingsCollegiate Baseball Poll: UWF remained No. 3 in the nation in the latest Collegiate Baseball Poll. It was the seventh consecutive week that the Argonauts ranked in the top five.National College Baseball Writer’s Association: UWF remained No. 5 in the NCBWA poll. The Argos were ranked No. 2 in the South Region behind Tampa.College Baseball Lineup: UWF remained at No. 4 in the College Baseball Lineup rankings.D2BaseballNews: UWF climbed to No. 5 in the latest D2 Baseball News rankings.The Home StretchUWF is more than halfway through its conference schedule and two-thirds of the way through its regular-season schedule. The Argos control their own destiny in the GSC and are the top candidate to host the NCAA South Regional if Tampa falters. Regardless of how Tampa plays, UWF is a strong candidate for the NCAA postseason.UWF is ranked No. 2 in the region in the major polls and went 4-2 against Sunshine State Conference opponents, including a series win at now No. 16 Florida Southern.The Argos’ toughest tests will come this weekend against Lee, currently fourth in the GSC, and on the road at No. 13 Delta State, tied for first in the GSC, at the end of the season.Stats and StreaksHitting streaks Austin Southall… 12 Aaron Haag… 7 Jeremy Bajdaun… 6 Garrett Flynn… 3 Brandon Tyler… 3 Trumon Jefferson… 2 Sean Plunkett… 2      Reached-base streaks Aaron Haag… 27* Austin Southall… 23 Sean Plunkett… 17 Cliff Covington… 8 Jeremy Bajdaun… 6* Every game this seasonPrint Friendly Version Aaron Haag has reached base in every game this season. (Photo by Bill Stockland) Game Notes: No. 3 UWF heads to Lee for GSC seriescenter_img Sharelast_img read more