• News Update 11/25/2021

▶ S. KOREA CONFIRMS NEARLY 4,000 NEW COVID INFECTIONS

South Korea reported a one day rise of 3,938 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, a day after exceeding 4,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

But critical cases and deaths climbed to fresh highs, fueling worries ahead of another pandemic winter.

Another 39 lives were also lost to the virus.

The latest resurgence, driven by the spread of the Delta variant, has been hitting the greater Seoul area particularly hard.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said, "The capital area has nearly reached a point where hospitals can no longer take COVID-19 patients."

He stressed the need to expand at-home care to take pressure off the medical system and ensure health care workers focus on patients in serious condition.

The number of critically ill patients nationwide rose to 612, also a new record.

▶WHO: FULLY VACCINATED PEOPLE SHOULD STILL WEAR MASKS

The head of the World Health Organization has warned vaccines alone will not end the COVID-19 pandemic, urging fully vaccinated people to continue to follow basic preventative measures to avoid catching the virus and passing it on to others.

"We're concerned about the false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic and people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions," Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday while speaking to reporters in Geneva.

He noted that vaccines reduce the spread of the dominant Delta variant by about 40 percent and save lives, "but they do not fully prevent transmission."

Dr. Tedros said everyone should continue to take precautions.

"That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside if you can, or in a well-ventilated space inside," he said.

▶ BOK RAISES KEY RATE TO TACKLE INFLATION, DEBT

The Bank of Korea has raised its key policy rate by 0.25 percentage point to 1 percent to fight inflation and fast-rising household debt.

The rate hike puts an end to 20 months of the policy rate staying in the zero range.

The BOK also decided to keep its 2021 growth outlook at 4 percent, while predicting a 3 percent advance in 2022, unchanged from its earlier projections.

However, it revised up its inflation outlook for this year to 2.3 percent.

▶ 3 MEN FOUND GUILTY OF MURDERING AHMAUD ARBERY

Three white men have been convicted of murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was jogging empty-handed through a subdivision in the U.S. state of Georgia.

President Joe Biden hailed the verdict but said the incident last year was a devastating reminder of how far America still had to go in the fight for racial justice.

The defendants had claimed Arbery looked like a burglar.

Jason Sheffield was one of their defense lawyers.

[Clip: Sheffield]
"I've lived with these men for the last year and a half, day in and day out. I've looked into their hearts. I've looked into their souls. I've had very deep conversations with them that stem back to their childhood and their upbringing and I can tell you honestly these men are sorry for what happened to Ahmaud Arbery. They are sorry that he is dead. They are sorry for the tragedy that happened."





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