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FEBRUARY 2004 NEWS

It is our hope that the current Lunar New Year Celebrations find you and your loved ones

In midst of the vast array of events happening in the world and the United States (i.e. Schwarzenegger's State of the State Speech), Martin Luther King's birthday/Civil Rights movement, landing on Mars, large bank mergers (i.e. J.P. Morgan & BankOne, Bank of America and FleetBoston Financial Corp.), Iraq's new government, etc.), the Asian/Asian Pacific American communities are part of this unique and complex tapestry of communities that resides within the United States.

In light of the vast spectrum of topics, issues and events that are related to our communities, we've divided the vast amount of news into various categories that are listed below:

APA Media Polls Appointments Business
Diversity Events Featured Artists
Film Music Politics
R.I.P. Sports Television

Please note that upon "CLICKING" on each link listed within this section, one will have the ability to obtain additional in-depth information on each even.

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COMEDY POLL
Discover information on ongoing comedy showcases in Los Angeles and New York, upcoming comics.

FILM POLL
With the demise of the MP3.Com website, we will be exploring various alternatives and options to support upcoming music artists/groups within the Asian/Asian Pacific American communities.

MUSIC POLL
With the demise of the MP3.Com website, explorations into various alternatives and options to support upcoming music artists/groups within the Asian/Asian Pacific American communities.

TELEVISION POLL
With the demise of the MP3.Com website, we will be exploring various alternatives and options to support upcoming music artists/groups within the Asian/Asian Pacific American communities.

 

FEATURED ARTISTS & LEADERS

NOEL TOY

 

 

Noel Toy Young (who died in Antioch California on December 24, 2004 at the age of 84) was America’s first Chinese fan dancer. This sensual, outspoken and rebellious person was a true firecracker and a pioneer ahead of her time who help pave the way for Asian American performers throughout the country during a time where the were expected to be the prim, reticent and submissive Asian female stereotype.

Known as Noel Toy, she was the nation’s first Chinese American fan dancer and one of the most famous women to practice the art. She dazzled audiences and raised eyebrows in the 1940’s with her seductive nude fan dances in sell-out performances across the county appearing on stage wearing nothing more than ostrich plumes.

At a time when the majority of Chinese women in this country were first generation immigrants with little or no skills in the English language, Noel found a way to break through the stereotypes, learning and speaking more than five languages and proved that petite, exotic and beautiful Asian women could be just as rebellious, independent and outspoken as American men.

Noel was born Ngun Yee (the first of eight children born to parents who came from Canton) on December 27, 1918 in a small farm town of Inverness in the San Francisco Bay Area that operated a laundry business. (Note: She chose to change her name to Noel Toy because she loved Christmas.)

In 1939, while attending UC Berkeley, she took a part-time job posing as a nude model for international photographers at the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island. It was there that she was discovered by Charlie Low, owner of the first and only Chinese Nightclub in the United States called, "Forbidden City." He immediately signed her on as a nude fan dancer and in less than three months, business tripled as Noel was hailed as the "Chinese Sally Rand."

She quickly made a name for herself and left Forbidden City to perform at other local nightclubs such as Kublai Kahn’s and The Sky Room where she incorporated large bubbles into her routine. Life Magazine featured a story on her calling her "the first and only Chinese Bubble Dancer in the country."

Her undeniable beauty, skillful/graceful dance routines and clever retorts open the doors for her to perform at pack houses at New York’s Stork Club, Maxie’s, the 18th Club, Lou Walters’ Latin Quarter and the famous Leon and Eddie’s (for 26 weeks). In addition, she performed at Boston’s Rio Casino, San Francisco’s Music Box and Montreal’s Gayety Theatre.

In 1945, she married actor and military man, Carleton S. Young (who died in 1994). Upon her husband's request, Noel went on to acting in numerous films including Soldier of Fortune starring Clark Gable and Susan Hayward, How To Be Very Very Popular starring Betty Grable and Sheree North and The Left Hand of God starring Humphrey Bogart and Gene Tierney and Big Trouble In Little China starring Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrell. She also appeared in numerous television shows including MASH, Family Affair and Growing Pains.

Mrs. Young grew tired of being typecast as "The Ornamental Oriental" and gave up acting for real estate in 1954. In 1969, she went into business with Joe Castagna becoming a partner Castagna Realty.

Mrs. Young is survived by two sisters, Lotus Now of Rio Vista and Alyce Wu of Walnut Creek; and three brothers, Ken Hom of Hercules, Joe Hom of El Cerrito and Henry Hom of Oakland – along with her nephew Michael Now.

 

ANNA CHAN CHENAULT

 

 

Anna Chan Chennault was married to Flying Tigers’ General Claire Chennault, the first female reporter for the Central News Agency, first person of Chinese ancestry to be a success in politics in the United States, “secret ambassador” in cross-strait relations and in Washington D.C. was known as "the hostess of Washington."

In 1981, she has established the "Chen Hsiang-mei Education Prize" (Chen Hsiang-mei being the Mandarin pronunciation of her Chinese name) in more than a dozen cities in mainland China in order to encourage outstanding teachers with a prize 2,500 yuan (US $300) each.

Her father was a diplomat. When Anna Chan was small (born in 1925) she was the most opinionated and stubborn of all his six daughters. Rejecting her father’s wishes to study abroad during China’s war with Japan, her student life was spent at a Hong Kong middle school and at Guangdong’s Lingnan University.

In 1945, Anna Chan turned 20 and upon graduation became the first woman reporter at the Central News Agency. Her initial assignments had her doing stories on the wives of American officers in China. Having a distaste of these wives’ disdain attitude, she transferred to reporting directly on the U.S. military where she met her future husband – Flying Tigers’ Claire Chennault.

Early in the war against Japan before the United States’ involvement, General Chennault had to resign his military commission and go to China as a civilian to help the Republican government organize an air force. The Flying Tigers squadron that he trained made him immensely popular among Chinese servicemen and civilians alike. (Note: In 1941, a group of American pilots formed the Flying Tigers Fleet to transport arms and other materials, and carried out air raids to support China against Japanese invaders.)

They got married despite Chinese society not looking kindly upon this kind of love affair between an older foreign man and a younger Chinese woman, along with American diplomatic and military personnel were not allowed to marry foreign women except under special circumstances during the 1950’s.

After eleven years of marriage, Claire Chennault diet of lung cancer back in his home in Louisiana, leaving Anna Chan -- now better known as Mrs. Anna Chennault -- a widow with two daughters.

After her husband’s death, she had to address legal problems over the airline he had founded and sold to the CIA (because of his ties to Taiwan), with lawsuits tied up in Hong Kong for two years.

After resolving these issues, she moved to the U.S. to raise her children and found a job translating foreign language textbooks into English for Georgetown University. She acquired a reputation in academia, and later was hired as a program host by the Voice of America. She also wrote articles for the media in Taiwan while being active in Washington social circles.

She was very active in Republican Party affairs, with posts including co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee's Finance Committee (1966-1983) and twice chairman of the National Republican Heritage Groups Council while gaining the trust of the White House. U.S. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan all asked her to take on various informal tasks for them. In 1963, President Kennedy named her the chairman of the Chinese Refugees Relief Committee, making her the first person of Chinese ancestry to be named to the White House staff.

She would serve as an envoy between the United States, People’s Republic of China and Taiwan because of her strong political relationships with these respective countries. In 1989, she headed a trade group from the U.S. Council for International Cooperation-which also included Taiwan businessmen-on a visit to China, marking the beginning of Taiwan business activities in mainland China.

Chennault published her first collection of poetry and essays when she was only 20. She has so far published more than 50 works in English and Chinese. The Overseas Chinese Artists Association of United States will produce a Qin Jian-directed film of her family that portrays a warrior in the past and an envoy of peace at present, would bring people a far-reaching self- reflection of the war launched by human in the 20th century, and lead people to pray for the peace of the 21st century.

 

RICHIE CENG

 

 

At the age of three, his parents moved to New York and began working around the clock at restaurants to save money to educate their three children. Having a distaste of Catholic school, he emulated an older cousin who was a lieutenant, or dai mai, in the Ghost Shadows, a feared street leader who commanded respect and free meals throughout the Chinatown labyrinth.

Ceng (aka “Airplane”) joined the Ghost Shadows at 13. Cops caught up with him a year later when he was arrested for throwing a brick through a restaurant's window after its owner refused to pay extortion fees to the gang. Ceng's rap sheet includes more than a dozen arrests since he was 14 and serving time for murder.

This was happening during the late 1980s and early '90s where NYC’s Chinatown was like the Wild West, with gun battles erupting outside massage parlors and casinos secreted in tenement basements. There were frequent murders, and some of those victims were very close to Ceng.

His cousin was murdered in 1993. A year later, Ceng became the gang's youngest dai mai, commanding a group of 20 armed teenagers.

Now running Yello – he is silent partner in this NYC Chinatown nightclub on Mulberry Street that is a hot spot for Asian celebrities and jet-setters because convicted felons are ineligible for liquor licenses - Ceng expresses remorse for his past deeds.

Ceng opened the nightclub after he was released from federal prison in 2001, having served five years for setting up the 1996 robbery of a Chinatown man who was trafficking in illegal food stamps that resulted in the target's 17-year-old son being shot dead after putting up a fight.

A recent confrontation occurred at the club between hip hop star Jin and aspiring rapper Raymond Yu that ended with a bullet in Jin's friend Christopher Louie, 23, who survived the attack.

 

JONATHAN CHAO

 

 

Rev. Jonathan Chao, a Christian missionary who spent 25 years teaching his faith in his native China and tracking the development of Christianity in that country under Communist rule, has died of Lymphoma at the Citrus Valley Hospice in West Covina on January 12 at the age of 65.

Born in northeastern China and raised in Japan, Chao moved to Los Angeles as a teenager in 1958. His father, a Presbyterian minister, was invited to California to help establish a program to translate the Bible into Chinese.

One of 10 children, Chao knew that he wanted to be a missionary to China from the time he was 16. He graduated from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., and earned a Master of Divinity degree at Westminster Theological Seminary and a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1965, he married his wife, Rebecca, who worked with him to mentor a number of seminary students and young ministers. They had no children.

Beginning in 1978, Chao traveled to China more than 100 times from his home in West Covina to train ministers to lead the Christian "house church" movement. The underground movement began in private homes soon after the Communist takeover of the country in 1949, when religious practice was restricted.

At the end of the Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1966 to 1976, restrictions eased and a wave of Christian evangelism surfaced in China. Chao quietly began to lead training sessions despite the possibility of government repression. He managed to avoid arrest but was blacklisted and forbidden to reenter the country.

Chao founded China Ministries International, with branches in six countries, to research the growth of Christianity in modern China. The group estimates that there are now at least 65 million Christians in China.

To facilitate his goals, he helped establish several training centers near China, including the Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong.

Chao wrote numerous articles and books, including a Chinese missionary handbook. His "A History of Christianity in Socialist China, 1949-1997," published in 1998, is perhaps his best-known work.

Chao is survived by his father, the Rev. Charles Chao; his mother, Pearl; his wife; and eight brothers and sisters.

 

 

      OUR GOALS

The purposes of this section are the following:

OPPORTUNITY
to discover more about our dreams
UNDERSTANDING
our fears and our hopes and
UNCOVERING
invaluable and missing information

APA & MEDIA NEWS

ANNA MAY WONG FILM RETROSPECTIVE
In film, the screen goddess Anna May Wong was fond of saying, she died a thousand deaths. Tragically and unfortuntely, many Asian/Asian Pacific Americans (within the community and Asian/Asian American media) didn't realized that she lived. (Note: Discover some books that have been recently been written by Anna May Wong by clicking HERE.
Read More>>>>>

ASIAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
With Asian American Christians attending the Urbana Missions Conference in numbers 6 to 7 times the national demographics, there is a need to encourage and equip the existing leadership - this is the vision behind the first Asian American Leadership Conference.
Read More>>>>>

UPCOMING ASIAN AMERICAN ICE SKATERS
Ellie Kawamura, Dice (Daisuke) Murakami and Dennis Phan are poised to continue the Asian Pacific American fast-growing influence in professional ice skating.
Read More>>>>>

UPCOMING APA CABLE TV STATIONS
Read about WorldAsia, ImaginAsian TV and Asia Channel TV's efforts.
Read More>>>>>

MOVEON.ORG & POLITICS
MoveOn.Org has provided an additional online option to being involved with the community and politically while raising funds.
Read More>>>>>

ABC & CANTONESE OPERA
American Born Chinese (ABC) youths in Bay Area's Red Bean Cantonese Opera House who are interested in Cantonese opera. These ABCs have been participating in opera for an average of 6 years now, starting when they were about 11-13 years old. "Lioness Roar", their latest event, is on February 15, 2004 at Oakland's Kaiser J. Henry Calvin Simmons Theater.
Read More>>>>>

HOLLYWOOD CLICHES - ASIAN/JAPANESE STYLE
They (Kill Bill, Last Samurai and Lost in Translation) are the objects of heated debate, particularly among Asian-Americans and Japanese, about whether Hollywood's current depictions of Japan are racist, nave, well-intentioned, accurate or all of the above.
Read More>>>>>

ASIAN IMMIGRANT WOMEN SUICIDE RATES
Chinese American women have the highest suicide rates of all racial and ethnic groups nationwide. Public health professionals think they know why.
Read More>>>>>

LEGEND OF FIRE HORSE WOMAN
In her first novel, "The Legend of Fire Horse Woman," Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston returns to the California internment camp that was central to her critically acclaimed 1973 memoir, "Farewell to Manzanar."
Read More>>>>>

LA CAJA CHINA
La Caja China is a rectangular plywood wheelbarrow lined with marine-grade aluminum, with a steel top upon which you could build a fire and under which you could cook a pig, or a great number of chickens.
Read More>>>>>

CHINESE LANDSCAPE PAINTING
Chinese landscape painting is one of the great historical traditions in world art . . with a hugely appealing opportunity for an imaginative journey into time and space.
Read More>>>>>

B.C.'S TWO WONGS DON'T MAKE A WRIGHT
Two New Mexico newspapers have refused to publish an upcoming installment of Johnny Hart's caveman comic strip "B.C.," which makes a potentially insensitive remark referring to two Asian characters who fail in their attempt to build a working airplane.
Read More>>>>>

JOHN WOO & CHOW YUN-FAT FILM
Ever since someone started thinking about sending Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo to the American Old West when the Transcontinental Railroad was still under construction - there has been confusion.
Read More>>>>>

PIPA AND GAO HONG
A horse trotting, flowing water, a woman singing. These are just a few of the sounds and images pipa player Gao Hong can evoke with her versatile four-string Chinese lute.
Read More>>>>>

MICHELLE KWAN'S ONGOING SUCCESS
The Olympic medalist and seven-time national champion says she still has the passion to compete in 2006 Games.
Read More>>>>>

CHINK'S STEAKHOUSE
When Susannah Park, of West Philadelphia, found out about Chink's Steaks, in Wissinoming, she called the restaurant owner and has since begun a campaign (with the support of the Anti-Defamation League and other community groups) to change the shop's name.
Read More>>>>>

THEATER REVIEW: FLOWER DRUM SONG
'IF we want to make something new, we first have to love what is old." That line from David Henry Hwang's "revisal" of Flower Drum Song expresses the challenge facing the musical's characters, who strive to honor their cultural heritage while forging new lives as Chinese Americans in 1950s San Francisco.
Read More>>>>>

MICHELLE WIE
A golf prodigy straight out of the ninth grade, Wie, with a swing so sweet it should be poured like syrup on pancakes, has been compared to an early-teen Tiger Woods.
Read More>>>>>

RAV'S OBSESSION WITH THEATER
Obsessed by the theater, as noted by attending plays by the dozens and leading online chatter, Ravi Narasimhan may be as passionate about the local stage as its artists.
Read More>>>>>

FILIPINO DOCTORS BECOME NURSES
Lured by higher pay and heavy recruiting, Philippine doctors are getting additional degrees and starting over in the U.S. -- as nurses.
Read More>>>>>

NORAH JONES RETURNS
Radio programmers along with a good chunk of the pop music audience have been Jonesing for Norah, and now she's back with her new album, "Feels Like Home." won't be out until Feb. 10
Read More>>>>>

PARK EXPANDS THE SPIRIT OF PUNK
As an activist, Mike Park (Asian Man Records founder) has campaigned for racial unity through the work of his ska-punk groups, spearheaded 1999's Ska Against Racism tour, founded the Plea for Peace Foundation, the nonprofit group behind a nationwide tour and a series of benefit CDs.
Read More>>>>>

INDIAN AMERICANS WIN MARSHALL SCHOLARSHIP
Indian American brothers (Jacob and David Chacko) both won a highly-valued Marshall scholarships to study at Oxford University.
Read More>>>>>

KENSEI OGATA AWARDED PURPLE HEART
More than half a century after he was severely wounded in the Korean War, Kensei Ogata has finally been recognized by his country with a Purple Heart.
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GUY KAWASAKI PROVIDES ADVICE
Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur, author and the chief executive of Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital investment bank for tech firms - pvovides advice to people starting a business at Forbes Magazine.
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ASIAN PRESENCE AT SUNDANCE
Discover the many Asian/Asian Pacific Americans that are making their presence at the Sundance Film Festival.
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RUSSELL WONG IN "TWISTED"
Russell Wong is in the film "Twisted" that features Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia
Read More>>>>>

MARGARET CHO'S WORDS AT MOVEON EVENT
Read what Margaret Cho said at a recent MoveOn.Org event and her own viewpoints.
Read More>>>>>

BAI LING IN "MY BABY'S DADDY"
Bai Ling is in this Cheryl Dunye-directed film that includes Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson and Michael Imperioli
Read More>>>>>

JOHN WOO & CHINESE HISTORY
Acclaimed Hong Kong director John Woo says he wants to do a film that explains Chinese culture to viewers in the West.
Read More>>>>>

DONG FANGZHOU
Manchester United will pay an initial 500,000 for the Dong Fangzhou (a 18-year-old striker who is a Chinese soccer prodigy) - which could eventually rise to 3.5m depending on appearances.
Read More>>>>>

LEONARDO NAM'S "PERFECT SCORE"
Leonardo Nam is in the cast of Brian Robbins-directed "The Perfect Score" with Scarlett Johansson, Erika Christensen and Chris Evans
Read More>>>>>

GLENN YAMAHIRO
Glenn Yamahiro - Wisconsin's first Asian-American judge has a lot of experiences under his belt, including experiencing racism.
Read More>>>>>

ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS' WORKSHOP'S DEMISE
Money woes forced the Asian American Writers' Workshop to close its doors last month. Public programs are canceled until at least the first week in February.
Read More>>>>>

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN'S "THE VILLAGE"
His latest movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, is set in 1897 and tells the story of a close-knit community with a mythical race of creatures residing in the woods around them. Cast includes William Hurt, Adrien Brody and Sigourney Weaver.
Read More>>>>>

THE FUTURE OF JUSTIN LIN
Justin is negotiating to direct/co-write MGM's Street (basketball comedy) with Alex Gartner, teaming with Aaron Spelling for an hourlong drama set up at the WB network and attached to direct Brad Meltzer's "The Tenth Justice" at 20th Century Fox.
Read More>>>>>

DANCE & THE SOUTH ASIAN FEMALE
Mita Ghosal, Shyamala Moorty and Anjali Tata created an extraordinary evening where did Bollywood meet rap meet performance art meet modern dance and bharata natyam, but there was humor, depth and beauty to burn in their program, "Uproar" that provided a provocative excursion into the "diverse terrain of the South Asian female."
Read More>>>>>

TOMMY CHONG
"Tommy Chong is the most identifiable stereotype of a marijuana smoker on the face of the planet," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.
Read More>>>>>

MR. WONG DVD RELEASE
On February 17, Maverick Entertainment will release the National Lampoon Presents IceBox.Com's Mr. Wong DVD/VHS.
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APA VIDEO GAME ENTREPRENEURS
Discover Sony Computer Entertainment America's CEO Kazuo Hirai, Leadman Electronic's CEO Frank Fu, DreamCatcher Games' CEO Richard Wah Kan and IGN's CEO Frank Jung.
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ASIAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
There is also a need for encouragement and equipping of existing Asian American leadership. A national conference would help address this need as well as help build new bridges and strengthen existing ones between Asian American leaders and ministries. This is the vision behind the first ever national Asian American Leadership Conference (AALC) in LA on March 29-31, 2004 sponsored by MESA.
Read More>>>>>

STEVE KERR & YAO MING
On January 19, 2004, Turner Broadcaster Steve Kerr described Ming Yao as a "7'6" Chinaman," during the Houston versus Memphis game. After being informed, Steve Kerr expressed his apologies to Yao Ming, APA communities and the general public.
Read More>>>>>

GEN. WESLEY CLARK'S APA AGENDA
While it's important to recognize the impressive strides that APAs have made, it is equally important to see the "model minority" myth for what it is - a dangerous misconception that APAs no longer face challenges in this country.
Read More>>>>>

VIVIAN SHUH MING LOUIE'S VIEWS
Research with immigrant and native-born minority groups consistently show that regardless of race, ethnicity, or nationality, parents want their children to do well in school, and children expect to go on to higher education. The key is how those aspirations do or do not get actualized.
Read More>>>>>

INTERVIEW: JOSEPH KAHN
Kahn seems like the ultimate film buff - a pudgy, Asian guy wearing glasses - talks faster than the Micro Machines guy, but it's because he has a lot to say.
Read More>>>>>

LAST SAMURAI FIGHT SCENES
White guys doing martial arts. Ever since The Matrix, it's been en vogue for Caucasians to learn the real thing. In "The Last Samurai," Tom Cruise trains with costar Ken Watanabe and Hiroyuki Sanada.
Read More>>>>>

INTERVIEW: JOHN WOO
It used to be that to mention John Woo meant you were a cool, sophisticated film scholar. Now everyone cites Woo as the master of Hong Kong Cinema, because he's the only one who's been mass marketed. Hong Kong Cinema goes further than Woo, but there are elements of Woo in lots of modern action movies.
Read More>>>>>

INTERVIEW: XIN XIN XIONG
Though The Musketeer boasts a cast including all star veterans Catherine Deneuve, Tim Roth and Stephen Rhea, as well as young talent Mena Suvari and Justin Chambers, all of the ads give action choreographer Xin Xin Xiong the spotlight. A frequent collaborator with Tsui Hark, Xiong choreographed such films as Double Team and Time and Tide, as well as performing stunts in most of the Once Upon a Time in China Films.
Read More>>>>>

INTERVIEW: RONNIE YU
Director of "Freddie vs. Jason" and other films (i.e. Formula 51, Warrior's of Virtue, etc.) talks about his latest projects.
Read More>>>>>

LEUNG'S ARREST CURTAIL APA INVOLVEMENT
Coming on top of scandals involving illegal contributions by Asian Americans to President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign and Democrat Al Gore's embarrassing fund-raiser at a Buddhist temple, Katrina Leung's arrest and the concerns that surround it could send would-be donors packing, warned Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco.
Read More>>>>>

APA'S NATIONAL GROWTH
The nation's Asian American population grew at about five times the national rate from 1990 to 2000, with California remaining home to more Asian Americans than any state. Asian Americans comprise 4.2% of the U.S. population, according to the 2000 census, up from 2.8% in 1990. The Asian American population grew 72%, to 11.9 million, while the total population grew 13%, to 281 million.
Read More>>>>>

LA CATHEDRAL CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR
Flailing two wooden sticks the size of rolling pins, choreographer Jaw John Chang pounded out the steady dragon dance beat on a floor drum with his lanky arms at L.A. Cathedral's Chinese New Year Celebrations.
Read More>>>>>

APRIL W WILKNER
She is the multi-racial model on UPN's Top Model "Reality Show"
Read More>>>>>

OFFENSIVE REMAKRS HAPPEN EVERYWHERE
As we were walking in, I heard a voice behind me taunt, sing-song style, hey, look at the pretty Chinese women, aren't we lucky to live in West Windsor where we have these pretty Chinese women to look at, hee-hee.
Read More>>>>>

SMILE - FILM IN CHINA & U.S.
Sean Astin, Beau Bridges, Mika Boorem, Linda Hamilton, Cheri Oteri and Erik von Detten (along with Yi Ding and Song Jia) are part of Jeff Kramer's cast in "Smile" - a coming-of-age drama set in the United States and China (Shanghai & Jingxi) about an American and Chinese teen.
Read More>>>>>

DEVON AOKI IN D.E.B.S.
Devon Aoki is part of the cast of Angela Robinson directed "D.E.B.S." (story about people being taught espionage) that also includes Jordana Brewster, Michael Clarke Duncan (President of D.E.B.S. Academy), Sara Foster, Meagan Good, Jill Ritchie (Kid Rock's sister) and Holland Taylor.
Read More>>>>>

KIWI ACTRESS MAKES HISTORY
The Whale-Rider actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, 13, is the youngest-ever nominee for best actress for the Academy Awards.
Read More>>>>>

HK'S "INFERNAL AFFAIRS"
As the Palm Springs International Film Festival draws to a close, moviegoers this weekend have the opportunity to catch "Infernal Affairs," the movie that single-handedly revived the moribund Hong Kong film industry.
Read More>>>>>

OVERVIEW: ASIAN MUSIC
In movies, TV and music (within Asia), last year was characterized by only a few innovations and too many tragedies.
Read More>>>>>

TAIWAN'S CHINA
The hype over China's public offerings has overshadowed Taiwan's China plays, but a key presidential vote next month may put the island's shares in the spotlight and boost an already bullish market.
Read More>>>>>

UNIVERSE FILMS FEATURES POP STARS
Hong Kong Universe Films is ramping up its big screen offerings with plans to make 12 to 15 films this year --- and its investing in bigger-budget productions than before.
Read More>>>>>

ANN HU'S "FEI"
Emerging Pictures recently completed Ann Hu's "Fei" - the first production it will handle from concept through release that stars Wang Zhiwen, Zhou Xun and Vivian Wu. It is being produced by Chen Zhen and exec produced by L.A.-based Lisa Lu.
Read More>>>>>

CHINA'S GROWING MARKET FOR LINGERIE
Once considered bourgeois frippery, the fancy bra has become an indicator of China's boom.
Read More>>>>>

R.I.P.: KIHARU NAKAMURA
Kiharu Nakamura, a geisha in Tokyo in the 1930's who wrote a popular memoir and taught sopranos how to portray the most famous geisha in fiction, Madama Butterfly, died on Jan. 5, 2004.
Read More>>>>>

LOVE OR HATE
Love's OK, but Hate Keeps Us Together. Any old dog can love you, but it takes a real human being to hate you with the obsessive focus and enduring, almost inanimate commitment that characterizes our species. Left to their own devices, most peoples entirely dehumanize their enemies.
Read More>>>>

JAPANESE HONESTY
Anywhere else perhaps, a shiny cellphone fallen on the backseat of a taxi, a nondescript umbrella left leaning against a subway door, a wad of cash dropped on a sidewalk, would be lost forever, the owners resigned to the vicissitudes of big city life - but not in Japan.
Read More>>>>>

CHINA'S POLICY ON INTERNET USAGE
Liu Di, a 23-year-old college student known online as "Stainless Steel Mouse," was recently released on bail after a year in prison for her ironic musings about China's political shortcomings.
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KROC'S $1.5 BILLION DONATION
The estate of the late philanthropist Joan B. Kroc donated an estimated $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army to build 25 to 30 community centers in struggling neighborhoods around the nation.
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HERTZBERG & SCHWARZENEGGER
Democrat Bob Hertzberg, who opposed the recall of Davis, is a confidant of Arnold Schwarzenegger's and a liaison to lawmakers.
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TOYOTA PASSES FORD
Japanese giant Toyota Motor Corp. sped past American corporate icon Ford Motor Co. in 2003 to become the world's second-biggest car company, according to released sales figures.
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R.I.P.: MOLLY KELLY
Molly Kelly, who as a child trekked 1,000 miles across the Australian desert to return to her Aboriginal mother in a journey that inspired the 2002 movie "Rabbit-Proof Fence," has died. She was thought to be 87.
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SCHWARZENEGGER INSIDER - SCOTT COX
Broadcaster is among those who find new status after backing Schwarzenegger.
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REVIEW: COLD MOUNTAIN
Is Cold Mountain a great movie? Absolutely. . . but I also mourn for what it might have been . .
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GOD & POLITICS
As the Democratic candidates for president attend religious services for the holidays, their celebrations may be tempered by an uncomfortable fact: churchgoing Americans tend to vote Republican.
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