PODCAST: Global authorities react with alarm to new COVID variant detected in South Africa (BCNN1 11.26.21)

This is the Black Christian News Network One breaking news podcast. Here are the breaking news stories you need to know about today.

According to Reuters, Global authorities reacted with alarm on Friday to a new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, with the EU and Britain among those tightening border controls as researchers sought to find out if the mutation was vaccine-resistant. Hours after Britain banned flights from South Africa and neighbouring countries and asked travellers returning from there to quarantine, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against hasty travel bans. The head of the UN World Tourism Organisation called for a quick decision. “It depends on WHO recommendations, but my recommendation will be to take decisions today, not after one week, because if it continues to spread as we are expecting then it will be late and will make no sense to apply restrictions,” organisation chief Zurab Pololikashvili told Reuters. One South African scienjapan


tist expert labelled London’s ban a symptom of “vaccine apartheid”, though European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the EU also aimed to halt air travel from the region and several other countries including India, Japan and Israel toughened curbs. “It is now important that all of us in Europe act very swiftly, decisively and united,” von der Leyen said. “All air travel to these countries should be suspended until we have a clearer understanding about the danger posed by this new variant.” In Washington, top U.S. infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said no decision had been made on a possible U.S. travel ban. There was no indication that the variant was in the United States, and it was unclear whether it was resistant to current vaccines, he told CNN. The WHO said it would take weeks to determine how effective vaccines were against the variant, which was first identified this week. The news pummelled global stocks and oil amid fears about what new bans would do to the global travel industry and already shaky economies across southern Africa.

According to the Associated Press, Three men were convicted of murder Wednesday in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the Black man who was running empty-handed through a Georgia subdivision when the white strangers chased him, trapped him on a quiet street and blasted him with a shotgun. The February 2020 slaying drew limited attention at first. But when video of the shooting leaked online, Arbery’s death quickly became another example in the nation’s reckoning of racial injustice in the way Black people are treated in their everyday lives. Now the men all face a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The judge will decide whether their sentences are served with or without the possibility of parole. As the first of 23 guilty verdicts were read, Arbery’s father had to leave the courtroom after leaping up and shouting. At the reading of the last criminal count, Arbery’s mother dropped her head and quietly pumped her fists. “He didn’t do nothing but run and dream,” Marcus Arbery Sr. said of his son. Outside the courthouse, dozens of Black supporters hugged and cried. The jury deliberated for about 10 hours before convicting Greg McMichael, son Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan. “We commend the courage and bravery of this jury to say that what happened on Feb. 23, 2020, to Ahmaud Arbery — the hunting and killing of Ahmaud Arbery — it was not only morally wrong but legally wrong, and we are thankful for that,” said Latonia Hines, Cobb County executive assistant district attorney. Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski added: “The jury system works in this country. And when you present the truth to people and they see it, they will do the right thing.” Speaking outside the courthouse, Ben Crump, attorney for Arbery’s father, repeatedly said that “the spirit of Ahmaud defeated the lynch mob.” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, thanked the crowd gathered for the verdict and said she did not think she would see this day. “It’s been a long fight. It’s been a hard fight. But God is good,” she said, adding that her son would now rest in peace.

According to the Daily Mail, “The Lovely Bones” author Alice Sebold selected a different man as her rapist in a 1981 police lineup than the one who ended up going to jail for 16 years, but was led by police to think she had chosen the ‘wrong’ man. The lineup emerged on Wednesday, two days after Anthony Broadwater – the man who was jailed for 16 years for the attack – had his conviction overturned by a judge. In 1981, Sebold was raped in a park near Syracuse University, where she was a 19-year-old freshman in college. The attack was the subject of her 1999 memoir, Lucky, which sold over 1 million copies and kickstarted her literary career. She told police at the time about the rape, then months after it, when they’d failed to locate him, saw a man in the street who she was convinced was her attacker. Broadwater was in the area at the time of the run-in with the alleged rapist, so he was brought into the investigation. At a lineup shortly afterwards, she was asked to identify the rapist but she picked the man standing next to Broadwater. Cops told her afterwards that she had ‘failed to identify the suspect’ because she didn’t pick Broadwater, the man they were sure she’d walked past in the street. The police extracted one of his pubic hairs to run a DNA analysis on him and they used that hair analysis to convict him. In court, she identified him as her attacker and in her book, she explained the discrepancy as a mistake because he was ‘identical’ to the man she did pick. On Monday, the conviction was overturned on the basis that she’d picked a different man in the police lineup, and because the DNA analysis that was used is now considered junk science by the Department of Justice. Sebold is yet to comment on the exoneration which only happened this week after a producer working on a Netflix adaptation of Lucky hired a private investigator because he was dubious of some of the ‘inconsistencies’ in the memoir.

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.com .

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!