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    President Joe Biden had a simple message for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. 'Hello,' Biden answered when asked what he would say Kim. 'Period.'  The president also offered, 'we are prepared for anything North Korea does.'  'I'm not concerned if that's what your asking,' Biden added.  Biden answered reporters' questions about Kim at the conclusion of an appearance Sunday morning in Seoul with Hyundai's Chairman Chung Eui-sun.  President Joe Biden had a simple message for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. 'Hello,' Biden answered when asked what he would say Kim. 'Period.' Yoon moved his official offices from the Blue House to a defense ministry compound.  'Today with this visit we're taking the cooperation between our countries to new heights,' Biden said, gushing about a partnership he said was built on 'shared sacrifice.'  He mentioned the North Korea threat and said cooperation was 'essential' on the global stage. Biden and Yoon each wore masks during their outdoor greeting. South Korea has been dealing with its own coronavirus issues, and maintains an indoor mask mandate. Saturday night, the men met in a...
    Public health officials are warning about the emergence of a new coronavirus strain, known as the omicron variant, that could complicate the return to normalcy in parts of the world. President Joe Biden said Monday in a speech about the variant that he would aim to avoid new restrictions in his administration’s fight against omicron, which he said would focus on encouraging more people to get vaccinated or receive a booster shot. BIDEN VOWS TO FIGHT OMICRON SURGE WITH MASKS AND SHOTS, NOT LOCKDOWNS While scientists are still closely studying the new variant, here is what we know about omicron. Where did it originate? The new strain of the virus is believed to have originated in South Africa, where the country's scientists first detected it on Nov. 9. The South African foreign ministry has criticized countries that imposed travel bans on people coming from South Africa as a result of the variant, claiming its scientists are being “punished” for discovering the new strain and sharing its data transparently with the scientific community. List of countries where new Covid-19...
    International passengers walk through the arrivals area at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport on November 26, 2021 in London, England.Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images The heavily-mutated omicron Covid-19 variant has been detected in more countries as governments around the world weigh new travel bans and restrictive measures. The World Health Organization on Monday said the variant poses a "very high" global risk that could have "severe consequences" given that some of its mutations may sidestep immune protection and suggest greater transmissibility. However, the South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, told the BBC Sunday that the associated symptoms seen so far have been "extremely mild." The U.K. has identified nine cases as of late morning on Monday, six of which are in Scotland, while the Netherlands and Portugal have each discovered 13 cases. Elsewhere in Europe, small numbers of cases have been identified in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Austria.Travel bansAustralia has reported five cases and will temporarily halt the next stage of its plan to...
    London (CNN)Nations around the world are racing to identify how many cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant they have, as fears over the new strain force governments to shutter borders and revisit restrictions.The new mutation, which is potentially more transmissible, was first discovered in South Africa and has since been detected in several countries.Here's a list of the places reporting cases so far. This will be updated. Australia: 2 cases Austria: 1 caseRead MoreBelgium: 1 caseBotswana: 19 casesCanada: 2 casesCzech Republic: 1 caseDenmark: 2 casesGermany: 3 casesHong Kong: 3 casesIsrael: 1 caseItaly: 1 caseNetherlands: 13 casesPortugal: 13 cases South Africa: 77 casesUnited Kingdom: 9 cases
    Getty A COVID testing centre sign at Heathrow Terminal 2 on November 28, 2021 in London, England. Since early in the COVID pandemic, the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa has been monitoring changes in SARS-CoV-2. This was a valuable tool to understand better how the virus spread. In late 2020, the network detected a new virus lineage, 501Y.V2, which later became known as the beta variant. Now a new SARS-CoV-2 variant has been identified – B.1.1.529. The World Health Organisation has declared it a variant of concern, and assigned it the name Omicron. To help us understand more, The Conversation Africa’s Ozayr Patel asked scientists to share what they know. What’s the Science Behind the Search? Hunting for variants requires a concerted effort. South Africa and the UK were the first big countries to implement nationwide genomic surveillance efforts for SARS-CoV-2 as early as April 2020. Variant hunting, as exciting as that sounds, is performed through whole genome sequencing of samples that have tested positive for the virus. This process involves checking every sequence...
    Michael Ciaglo/Getty Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.Yes, a new variant has emerged. On Friday, the WHO designated a fourth, possibly more transmissible “variant of concern”—B.1.1.529 or Omicron—after a steep increase in COVID-19 infections in South Africa. Health officials have detected the variant in Belgium, Britain Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and the United Kingdom. As of Friday, there have been no cases of Omicron detected in the United States, according to the CDC. But as a “precautionary measure” the Biden administration joined several other nations in issuing new travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. On Saturday, New York declared a state of emergency over the variant. Since the news of omicron broke, the stock market has taken a notable hit. The news is worrisome, but as top infectious disease official Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists have cautioned, there’s plenty we don’t know about Omicron—including if it spreads more readily, if it causes a more severe COVID infection, or if our vaccines will continue to...
    Prof. Wolfgang Preiser, Stellenbosch University; Cathrine Scheepers, University of the Witwatersrand; Jinal Bhiman, National Institute for Communicable Diseases; Marietjie Venter, University of Pretoria, and Tulio de Oliveira, University of KwaZulu-Natal Since early in the COVID pandemic, the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa has been monitoring changes in SARS-CoV-2. This was a valuable tool to understand better how the virus spread. In late 2020, the network detected a new virus lineage, 501Y.V2, which later became known as the beta variant. Now a new SARS-CoV-2 variant has been identified – B.1.1.529. The World Health Organisation has declared it a variant of concern, and assigned it the name Omicron. To help us understand more, The Conversation Africa’s Ozayr Patel asked scientists to share what they know. What’s the science behind the search?Hunting for variants requires a concerted effort. South Africa and the UK were the first big countries to implement nationwide genomic surveillance efforts for SARS-CoV-2 as early as April 2020. Variant hunting, as exciting as that sounds, is performed through whole genome sequencing of samples that have tested positive...
    A new super mutant Covid variant that has sparked fears of another lockdown in the UK may have emerged in a HIV patient in Africa, is the most-evolved version yet and could make jabs much weaker. Scientists believe that its extensive mutations mean it must have originated in a severely immunocompromised patient, possibly an undiagnosed person with AIDS. It has more than 30 mutations, giving it all the transmissibility of the currently-dominant Delta strain and the same ability to escape vaccines as the old South African variant Beta.  Experts fear the new variant — called B.1.1.529 — may make the vaccines at least 40 per cent less effective, because it is so different from the original strain the vaccines were made to target. Britons have been put on alert that there could be a Christmas lockdown, with one of No10’s vaccine advisers warning ‘we all need to be ready’ for restrictions to be reimposed. Here is everything we know about the variant so far: What is so concerning about the variant? Experts say it is the 'worst variant they have...
    A man enters the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 15, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.Sean Gallup | Getty Images The World Health Organization will meet on Friday to discuss a new heavily-mutated variant of Covid-19. The variant known as B.1.1.529 has been detected in small numbers in South Africa, WHO officials said. South African scientist Tulio de Oliveira said in a media briefing held by the South Africa Department of Health on Thursday that the variant contains more than 30 mutations to the spike protein, the component of the virus that binds to cells. This is significantly more than those of the delta variant, which spread like wildfire earlier this year to become the dominant strain worldwide. Many of these mutations are linked to increased antibody resistance, which may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and affect how the virus behaves with regards to vaccines, treatments and transmissibility, health officials have said. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead on Covid-19, said in a livestreamed Q&A that scientists "don't know very much about this yet" and that it...
    A new Covid variant which has been branded the 'most mutated so far' may already be extinct, it was claimed today. Concerns were raised that the mutant strain — dubbed C.1.2 — could be more infectious than other variants and better able to evade vaccines. But experts said today there was no sign the mutant strain had managed to gain a foothold in South Africa — where it was first identified — or any other country. The director of University College London's genetics institute Professor Francis Balloux said the variant 'shows no evidence of increasing in frequency'. He added that it 'may be extinct by now'. There have been only 101 cases of the mutant strain since it was discovered four months ago, according to Covid variant tracking platform GISAID. South Africa has spotted 89 cases of the mutant variant, with the last infection recorded in the first week of August.  Britain has recorded four cases of the variant.  But all known mutant strains circulating in the UK are currently being outcompeted by the Indian 'Delta' variant, which...
    A NEW Covid variant is the "most mutated so far", scientists have warned. It is already in the UK, with cases of the faster spreading virus being carefully monitored. 2Scientists have said the new variant could be faster spreading and more mutated than othersCredit: Dan Charity This Covid variant, dubbed C.1.2, was first spotted in South Africa, and has been linked to increased transmissibility. It could be more infectious than other mutations and have the potential to escape the effect of vaccines, scientists fear. The strain was first identified by scientists in South Africa in May. It has since been found in England, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland. The scientists said in a report, published in the journal Nature: "We describe and characterise a newly identified SARS-CoV-2 lineage with several spike mutations that is likely to have emerged in a major metropolitan area in South Africa after the first wave of the epidemic, and then to have spread to multiple locations within two neighbouring provinces.  "We show that this lineage has rapidly expanded and...
    A coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa 'could be more infectious' than other mutations and have the potential to 'evade vaccines', scientists have said. The C.1.2 strain, which is linked to 'increased transmissibility', is more mutations away from the original virus seen in Wuhan, experts at South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform said. The virus was first identified by scientists in South Africa in May and has since been found in England, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland. In their study scientists found the strain, which descends from the C.1 strain that was first spotted amid the first wave of the pandemic, has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year. The C.1.2 strain, which descends from the C.1 strain that was first spotted amid the first wave of the pandemic, has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year This rate is nearly double the current global mutation rate seen in any other Variant of Concern (VOC) so far.    During their study,...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 70 people have been shot across Chicago so far this weekend, and 12 of them have been killed. At least four of the victims were under age 18, including one boy who was killed and another who was injured when they were shot in a backyard in Englewood early Saturday morning. READ MORE: Growing Worry In Chinatown Over Piles Of Concrete And Chipping Paint Plaguing Busy Viaduct Police say the shooting happened around 1:15 a.m. in the 6800 block of South Peoria. A 15-year-old was seriously hurt after he was shot in the stomach, and a 17-year-old was hit in the chest and died at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Around the same time, a 37-year-old man was killed in a shooting in the Galewood neighborhood on the Northwest Side. Police said the victim was standing on the sidewalk with a group of people on the 1700 block of North Moody Avenue, when someone in a blue sedan started shooting at them. The victim was taken to Loyola University Medical Center with a gunshot...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 59 people had been shot in Chicago this weekend as of Monday morning, and 10 of them had been killed. At least eight of the surviving victims were under 18, with the youngest being just 8 years old. READ MORE: Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Car In Lincolnwood; Police Searching For Driver On Saturday night, six people were shot outside a party in the South Austin neighborhood – all but two of them girls under 18. The victims were standing on the sidewalk on Ohio Street near Lavergne Avenue at 11:40 p.m., when someone in a dark-colored sport-utility vehicle shot them all. Three of the victims were taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County. A 15-year-old girl was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with a graze wound to the head. The youngest victim, who is 12, suffered a graze wound to her hand. Family members drove her to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park. The sixth victim was a 25-year-old man who was shot in the backside and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 47 people have been shot so far this weekend across Chicago, 11 of them fatally. Three of the homicides happened in a span of about two hours Friday evening. READ MORE: Dept. Of Natural Resources Tractor Struck In Hit-And-Run Crash On Lake Shore Drive At Recreation Drive Around 5:20 p.m. Friday, a 47-year-old man and a 34-year-old man were inside a home on the 11800 block of South State Street in West Pullman, when someone shot both of them, police said. The 47-year-old man, identified as Shawn Young, was shot in the head and buttocks and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. The 34-year-old man was shot in the left hand and right shoulder, and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition. Around 6:20 p.m. Friday, a 39-year-old man was on the sidewalk on the 11000 block of South Vernon Avenue in the Roseland neighborhood, when someone in a light-colored vehicle pulled up and shot him in the chest, police said....
    CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 58 people have been shot so far this weekend in Chicago, five of them fatally. Among the incidents was a mass shooting that left eight people injured in the Burnside neighborhood. READ MORE: Hinsdale Students Create Book To Document Stories Of Living Through COVID-19 Pandemic; Exhibit Also Created Just before 4 a.m. Sunday, the victims were standing on the sidewalk in the 8900 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue when two occupants of a silver sedan opened fire at them. A 33-year-old man was shot in the chest, a 31-year-old man was shot in the back and leg, a 29-year-old man was shot in the back, a 32-year-oold woman suffered a graze wound to the head, a 28-year-old man was shot in the right leg, a 31-year-old man was shot in the buttocks, a 28-year-old man was shot in the back, and a 38-year-od woman was shot in the left leg. The first homicide of the weekend happened around 7:25 p.m. Friday in the North Austin neighborhood. Police said a 23-year-old man was in...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 48 people have been shot so far this weekend in Chicago, five of them fatally. Among the incidents was a mass shooting that left eight people injured in the Burnside neighborhood. READ MORE: Carjackers Target 2 Victims Within An Hour In Mount Greenwood, Beverly Just before 4 a.m. Sunday, the victims were standing on the sidewalk in the 8900 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue when two occupants of a silver sedan opened fire at them. A 33-year-old man was shot in the chest, a 31-year-old man was shot in the back and leg, a 29-year-old man was shot in the back, a 32-year-oold woman suffered a graze wound to the head, a 28-year-old man was shot in the right leg, a 31-year-old man was shot in the buttocks, a 28-year-old man was shot in the back, and a 38-year-od woman was shot in the left leg. The first homicide of the weekend happened around 7:25 p.m. Friday in the North Austin neighborhood. Police said a 23-year-old man was in a back yard in the...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 29 people had been shot in Chicago this Memorial Day weekend as of Monday afternoon. The first fatal shooting happened at 2:14 p.m. Saturday in the 3100 block of West Ogden Avenue in Lawndale. READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Clouds Linger Monday Night, Warming Trend Continues Police said a man was in a vehicle headed northeast on Ogden Avenue when he was shot in the face and chest. The victim’s vehicle them hit a light pole and came to rest. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as Luis Poole. At 8:58 p.m. Saturday, a 29-year-old man was on the sidewalk in the 3700 block of West McLean Avenue in Logan Square when a vehicle pulled up and the occupant got out and shot him. The victim was struck in the leg and armpit and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition. The man, still unidentified Sunday afternoon, was later pronounced dead at the hospital. In other incidents, the victims included a rideshare...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 15 people had been shot in Chicago this Memorial Day weekend as of Sunday afternoon. The first fatal shooting happened at 2:14 p.m. Saturday in the 3100 block of West Ogden Avenue in Lawndale. READ MORE: Coronavirus In Illinois: More Than 50% Of Adults Fully Vaccinated; State Reports 602 New Cases, 18 Deaths Police said a man was in a vehicle headed northeast on Ogden Avenue when he was shot in the face and chest. The victim’s vehicle them hit a light pole and came to rest. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as Luis Poole. At 8:58 p.m. Saturday, a 29-year-old man was on the sidewalk in the 3700 block of West McLean Avenue in Logan Square when a vehicle pulled up and the occupant got out and shot him. The victim was struck in the leg and armpit and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition. The man, still unidentified Sunday afternoon, was later pronounced dead at the hospital....
    CHICAGO -- Three more vacant buildings collapsed Tuesday on the South Side after a storm dumped a foot of snow in Chicago, raising the total number of collapses in February to six.Nearly 18 inches of snow fell on Midway Airport overnight, according to the National Weather Service. Including earlier snowfalls, the airport had two feet of snow on the ground.SEE ALSO | How much snow can a roof hold?EMBED More News Videos Wondering how much more snow your roof can bear? ABC7 meteorologist Larry Mowry breaks down the weight of snow. The latest building to fall was in South Shore, where a vacant building collapsed just before 5 p.m. near 75th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, according to Chicago fire officials. No injuries were reported.In Brainerd, a man shoveling snow witnessed an abandoned building collapse about 9:20 a.m. in the 700 block of West 91st Street, according to Chicago police. No one was hurt, but two cars were damaged by falling debris.Also Tuesday morning, firefighters discovered a collapsed vacant building while driving in the South Chicago neighborhood, according to CFD spokesman...
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