[Korea Now Today's Headline] 05/19/WED
1. On Wednesday, South Korea reported 654 new COVID-19 cases, with the number of new daily cases rising above 600 again.
2. Under direct contract between the pharmaceutical firm and the South Korean government, another batch of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, containing 438,000 doses, arrived today.
3. President 문재인 left for Washington today on his five-day trip for his first in-person summit talks with U.S. President Joe Biden on COVID-19 vaccine cooperation, North Korea, alliance issues and bilateral economic partnerships set for Friday afternoon, local time.
4. The nominee for commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) General Paul LaCamera said on Tuesday that joint field exercises between South Korean and U.S. troops are extremely important in maintaining readiness.
5. South Korea celebrates today as Buddha’s birthday, the second in the COVID-19 era, where ritual ceremonies are held at temples across the country.
6. Bombardment of Gaza continues for a 9th day as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, and the U.N. aid agency has reported more than 52,000 Palestinians displaced and nearly 450 buildings destroyed or damaged in the Gaza Strip.
7. On Tuesday, local time, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the anti-Asian hate crimes bill, which the Senate passed last month, with a 364 to 62 vote, now cleared to be signed by President Joe Biden to be made into law.
8. Cyclone Tauktae slammed into western India late Monday night, with at least 24 deaths and more than 90 people have been reported missing.