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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:26 August 25, 2021

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

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(LEAD) Controversial media bill passes last hurdle to go on parliamentary plenary vote

SEOUL -- A controversial bill on curbing fake news passed the last parliamentary hurdle Wednesday to be put to a final plenary vote at the National Assembly amid heated protests from opposition parties and journalists' associations.

The bill to revise the Act on Press Arbitration and Remedies, Etc. for Damage Caused by Press Reports received the green light from the Legislation and Judiciary Committee, the final gatekeeping committee for all bills before they go on a final vote at a parliamentary plenary session.

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S. Korea looks set for legislation to curb Google, Apple's in-app billing system

SEOUL -- A parliamentary committee on Wednesday passed a bill to ban Google and Apple from forcing app developers to use the platforms' payment systems, clearing the last remaining hurdle before a final vote.

The legislation and judiciary committee of the National Assembly approved the revision of the Telecommunications Business Act, which seeks to bar app market operators from requiring developers to use certain payment systems by unfairly using their positions.

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New cases spike to over 2,000 again, infections in Seoul at record high

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases spiked to over 2,000 again Wednesday, as the Seoul metropolitan area reported a record high daily caseload since the pandemic began amid growing concerns over untraceable and variant cases.

The country added 2,155 more COVID-19 cases, including 2,114 local infections, from the previous day, raising the total caseload to 241,439, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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Air Force chief to visit U.S. for talks with space, air force commanders

SEOUL -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Park In-ho will visit the United States this week for multilateral talks with leaders in charge of space and air operations, his office said Wednesday.

Park will depart South Korea later in the day for a 10-day trip to Colorado and Hawaii at the invitation of U.S. chief of space operations, Gen. John Raymond, and U.S. Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, according to the Air Force.

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Plenary parliamentary meeting postponed ahead of planned vote on controversial media bill

SEOUL -- The National Assembly postponed a plenary meeting set for Wednesday, hours after the ruling party railroaded a controversial media bill through a parliamentary committee despite protests from opposition parties.

National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug expressed his decision to put off the plenary meeting set for the afternoon, according to Rep. Han Byung-do, spokesman of the ruling Democratic Party (DP).

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S. Korea grants temporary stay permits to Afghans on humanitarian grounds

SEOUL -- The justice ministry said Wednesday it will grant special stay permits to Afghans living in South Korea out of humanitarian concerns.

The ministry said a total of 434 Afghans, who have been staying in the country on either short- or long-term visa, will benefit from the measure.

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New daily COVID-19 cases soar to record high in Seoul

SEOUL -- Seoul reported Wednesday an all-time daily high of nearly 700 COVID-19 patients.

According to the Central Disease Control Headquarters, the capital logged 677 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, its highest-ever daily increase, as South Korea was struggling to fight the nation's fourth wave of the pandemic.

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(2nd LD) Some 380 Afghan evacuees to be airlifted to S. Korea Thursday: foreign ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea is set to airlift some 380 Afghans to the country this week in a frantic operation to evacuate people who aided Seoul's efforts to help rebuild the war-torn Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Military planes carrying the evacuees were expected to depart from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and land at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Thursday, Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon said.

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S. Korea, Colombia agree in summit to bolster digital, environmental, cultural cooperation

SEOUL -- The leaders of South Korea and Colombia agreed during their talks here Wednesday to strengthen cooperation between the two countries especially in the digital, environmental and cultural fields.

The summit between President Moon Jae-in and his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque came as the two sides commemorate the 10th anniversary of forging a "strategic partnership."

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S. Korea's childbirths at fresh low in June

SEOUL -- The number of babies born in South Korea dropped to a record low in June, data showed Wednesday, in the latest sign that underscores the country's gloomy demographic situation with the chronically low birth rate.

A total of 21,526 babies were born in June, down 2.7 percent from the previous year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.


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