South Korean sect leader arrested for hindering coronavirus efforts Aug 02, 2020 0 50 12345 AFPSeoulThe elderly leader of a secretive South Korean sect at the centre of the country’s early coronavirus outbreak was arrested on Saturday for allegedly hindering the government’s effort to contain the epidemic.Lee Man-hee, 88, is the head of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which is often condemned as a cult.People linked to the church accounted for more than half of the South’s coronavirus cases in February and March, when the country was enduring one of the worst early outbreaks in the world.As of July 19, more than 5,200 Koreans who are connected with the sect were infected, making up 38 percent of all confirmed cases in the country, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Lee is accused of giving inaccurate records of church gatherings and false lists of its members to health authorities.He was taken into custody early Saturday “after the Suwon District Court granted an arrest warrant at 1:20 am”, a court spokesperson told AFP.The judge said there “have been circumstances indicating systematic attempts to destroy evidence” by Lee, Yonhap news agency reported.Shincheonji has claimed its members face social stigma and discrimination if their beliefs become publicly known, dissuading some from responding to official inquiries. It released a statement stressing Lee’s arrest “doesn’t mean a guilty verdict”.Lee was only concerned about authorities’ “excessive requests” for personal details, and “never ordered” his subordinates to withhold information, the church added. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES US official cautions over China, Russia virus vaccines as race heats up Aug 02, 2020 0 465 Expect ‘lengthy’ coronavirus pandemic, warns WHO chief Aug 02, 2020 0 379 Thousands of ‘Covidiots’ protest in Berlin over virus restrictions Aug 02, 2020 0 667 Hurricane Isaias douses Bahamas, heads to virus-hit Florida AFP Miami Hurricane Isaias dumped torrential rain on the Bahamas Saturday as it rumbled toward Florida -- the first big test for the storm-prone US state reeling from the coronavirus crisis. The category one storm was .. Japan’s Okinawa declares state of emergency as virus cases soar TOKYO: Japan’s Okinawa region has declared a state of emergency and asked people to stay home for two weeks as the popular tourist destination sees an “explosive spread” of coronavirus cases. Governor Denny Tamaki on .. First US recipient of partial face transplant dead at 57 WASHINGTON: Connie Culp, the first US recipient of a partial face transplant, has died at age 57, according to Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, where she underwent the delicate operation nearly 12 years ago. The health centre .. UK seeks ‘tougher action’ from France on Channel migrants AFP London Britain on Saturday urged France to get tougher on stopping migrants using the Channel to reach the UK, with one minister saying the crossings were “unacceptably high”. The call came after Border Force figures .. Trump says fed agents to stay in Portland until police ‘cleanup’ AFP Washington US federal officers will stay in the protest-wracked city of Portland until local law enforcement officials finish a “cleanup of anarchists and agitators,” President Donald Trump said. The president ..