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September 2004 NEWS

During these historic times, it is our recommendation and hope that the members of the Asian Pacific American communities will make their voices heard in the upcoming presidential elections.

It is unfortunate that many believe that the community least likely to vote is the Asian Pacific American communities. In a world where the opportunity and/or the possibility to express one's views does not exist in many countries and where the last presidential election was decided by the people who didn't vote - it is hard to find a reason, if one is truely serious about one's views, on why one would not vote.

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 Business Community
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Sports Television Theater

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.

Recognizing that understanding how the Asian Pacific American communities interact with events within Asia and/or the United States is important, please feel free to review the information listed below:

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R.I.P.
 
 

SARAH CHANG

Sarah Chang, while being entered into Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame (along with Brian Wilson, the late film composer Henry Mancini), played Sarasate's "Carmen" Fantasy with supreme technical command while being accompanied by the John Mauceri-conducted Hollywood Bowl Orchestra) that longingly seeks a distinct personal character that matched her skills and the emotions displayed during her acceptance speech.

The Hollywood Bowl’s camera work (new feature at the venue’s “new look”) focused on Ms. Chang amazing fretwork on her violin that compensated for loudspeakers’ own interpretation of what was being played. The Bowl’s new video screens provided an “Up Close and Personal” look on the high priority that Ms. Chang placed on incorporating her intuitive and artistic passions with the able accompaniment of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

Within the audience, the inclusion of Ms. Chang brought the support of many within the Asian, Korean and Asian Pacific American communities at the event. Their participation continued the pattern of these communities supporting outstanding talents while having a great thirst of supporting other high caliber artists to support.

Other performers that night included Robin Gibb, Josh Groban, Monica Mancini, Andy Williams and Wilson Philips – along with emcees such as Kathy Bates and Rob Reiner.

All the performances were part of the start of a new chapter in the 83-year history of the Bowl. The old Frank Gehry-designed acoustical spheres are replaced by a floating canopy that holds light fixtures with the purpose to reflect sound to help the performers hear themselves onstage. In addition, large video screens flank each side of the shell to help the viewers in the far reaches of the Bowl.

The sound quality differed from the Brian Wilson performance (of which, a separate sound console was utilized for his rock-oriented set of songs), as oppose to the other performers that utilized the house system that were seeking to discover the musical tapestry that was being played that night.

Friday night’s performance provided a glimpse of what lies in the future of the Hollywood Bowl that includes a sound system that accurately communicates the individual timbres of the instruments, a soundstage that provide a visual pleasing presentation of the artists and camerawork that will provide rarely seen introspective views of artists utilizing their talents during their performances.

TWELVE GIRLS BAND

 
 

The Twelve Girls Band started their quest to capture concertgoers in the United States with their music that combines classical Chinese and American music at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The group that sold out 32 shows in 10 minutes in Japan, had their debut c.d. (“Eastern Energy”) debut at #62 on The Billboard 200 and debut No. 1 on Top World Albums with its conservatory-trained musicians who play traditional Chinese instruments but combine them with modern music hoped to continue their past success in Asia in the United States.

Hearing familiar pop, Chinese folk, jazz and classical music with a New Age vibe music not normally played by Chinese instruments provided a unique experience for many in the Royce Hall crowd and American audiences. That night the group included within their performance their cover version of Coldplay's “Clocks,” Riverdance piece “Reel Around the Sun” and Enya's 'Only Time' – among other selections from their c.d.’s while demonstrating various instruments that they were playing between various song selections.

Recognizing the great musical skills that exists within its members and its live performances captured on DVD, one looks forward to the opportunity to hear the Twelve Girls Band perform with a live band. One anticipates that playing with other musicians (as oppose to playing to prerecorded tracks) would provide the interplay, interactions, emotional connection and creativity that allow them to elevate their music to new creative heights. This would also provide a diversion while the group learns how to interact with American audiences.

Recognizing that this concert was their tour’s first date, the audience overlooked various production inconsistencies (i.e. sound production, translation miscues, etc.) and the members’ command of the English language to provide the music that was greatly anticipated. It was odd having the ability to hear the individual instruments being demonstrated with great clarity while these qualities disappeared when the entire group was performing.

Various segments were included within their performance to feature the unique musical timbre and qualities that is inherent with several of the instruments (gu zheng - zither with movable bridges and 16 to 25 strings), pipa (four-stringed, pear-shaped lute), yang qin (similar to the hammered dulcimer), erhu (two-stringed fiddle) and dizi (bamboo flute) that the group utilizes within their music. During those times, the audiences were treated to the many musical delights previously unheard of by many audiences in the United States. The musical demonstrations provided ample evidence of the skills that exists while making one long for arrangements in future performances that would allow their instruments to be utilized like an acclaim string section within an orchestra.

After Tokyo-based Warner Music executive Kazuma Tomoto formed his own record label, Platia Entertainment, to successfully launch the Twelve Girls Band in Japan that provided earnings of almost of $50 million - the idea of bringing the Twelve Girls Band to North America was engineered by Ken Pedersen, a Virgin Records executive behind the world music-oriented Luaka Bop and Real World. His plan was based on the success he'd had with such concept projects as "Moods" (with Yanni) a series of CDs compiling ethereal, soothing music that included key elements of incorporating direct marketing television campaigns and live appearances on TV shows and in concert. His team also included Ray Cooper, former Virgin Records America president and one of the key developers of the Spice Girls, who helped design the group's presentation to the American and European markets and Phil Quartararo (EMI North American Executive Vice-President) – who made the group’s distribution deal with EMI Music Marketing.

Their coordinated promotion in the United States included TV spots on the History Channel, A&E, CBS and MTV – along with print coverage of the band in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and CNN.com.

Going into this current U.S. tour, people have asked on whether they are the latest music “sensation” from Asia, musical geniuses or an Asian version of bland, manufactured pop? Time Asia called them “China’s first exportable supergroup.” Entertainment industry publication Variety wrote, “China dolls take traditional music off the shelf.”

Asian Pacific American concertgoers’ reactions range from the Twelve Girls Band as a gateway for young fans to appreciate classical Chinese music to being compared by fans of Mandarin pop to S.H.E.’s version of Superstar that also mixes Chinese traditional music with American rock to people that think that it’s too commercialized of watered-down version of familiar classic as played on Chinese instruments made palatable for mainstream audiences.

At UCLA’s Royce Hall, it appears that the people behind the Twelve Girls Band have a definitive marketing plan to extend the success of a talented group of musicians in Asia to the United States. Will the Twelve Girls Band be just another group of gorgeous females put together to capitalize on the latest trend or will they be a trend-setting group that will blend various Chinese and American music styles into a new genre – only time will tell? Imagine if the Twelve Girls Band had the opportunity to work with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Tan Dun and other similar artists . . . .

 
 

BOND

Tania Davis, Eos Chater, Haylie Ecker and Gay-Yee Westerhoff (aka the gorgeous female members of the group “bond”) formally introduced their contagious blend of sex appeal, British charm and music that blends the pop and classical genres together in their attempt to reinvent the classical string quartet to the waiting audiences in the United States at Hollywood’s Avalon Theater.

The group played selections from their debut “Born” (which sold more than 2 million copies) to their latest “Classified” c.d. that fused dance beats with soaring string arrangements. The audience’s anticipation of hearing the group’s eclectic and wide-ranging music influences that ranged from trance, house music, salsa, traditional East European folk songs, Arabic music, disco, Bollywood-influenced arrangements, techno beats with pop melodies, traditional classical music and pop was definitely met during their performance – as made evident by the crowd’s response.

Their performance communicated their oft-stated goal that their music is "an eclectic musical mix characterized by so many different cultural influences and musical styles and with the classical string quartet at its heart.” It was a fascinating journey to witness their willingness to go beyond category to explore the joy of music regardless of the cultural hamstrings that restrict the creativity of so many previous classically trained musicians while paving the road of others such as U.K.’s Diana Yukawa, U.S.’s Hilary Hahn, China’s 12 Girls Band and Japan’s Akiko Suwanai.

With their recognition that "The aural experience is important" - "but so is the spectacle. . . “– their performance started with the girls’ alluring silhouettes before they started to play. Bond demonstrated throughout the night their desire to entertain their audience and displayed no shame in that. Though they admitted to the audience that they are not dancers, as noted by their choreography, Gay-Yee’s infectious and tempting gyrations definitely got the attention of every male concertgoer throughout the night.

Various performance highlights that featured the wide spectrum of music being played include the playing of “Victory” – that was written by Croatian composer Tonci Juljic and various selections that featured their skills as a classical string quartet selection where the girls replaced their amplified string instruments with traditional acoustic violins, viola and cello. Upon listening to their performance, one wonders what audiences might experience in the future when they are performing with a live band that would allow them the freedom to incorporate out the human passions, intricacies, musical interactions and creative discoveries inherent when talented artists proceed along the path of genre-breaking music.

Their well-financed publicity has provided them opportunities that made audiences throughout the world well aware of their group – as noted by the sold-out performance at Hollywood’s Avalon Theater. It will be fascinating how they will utilized their image that has been shaped by photos of the band posing nude with their instruments (rejected c.d. cover image), the only quartet to be kicked out of the classical charts, first all-female string quartet to appear in the pop charts, their various short sexy skirts, high heels, runway-ready hair, flashy MTV videos, description as “Sex in the Symphony,” their nickname of the “Spice Girls of classical music” – along with their music to extend their great success in Europe and Asia to the United States. Their performance at Avalon officially started their quest.

As Bond mature and gains additional confidence in their artistic identity and music intuition, their success (along with a fast-growing number of other artists) has made it clear that are meeting a global need for music that is both uplifting and transporting with music that as Harry Hui (Asia-Pacific president of Universal Music) stated - the genre's popularity is due in part to that fact that, with classical music, "there are no language barriers."

      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

LIU WEI'S TRYOUT WITH SACRAMENTO KINGS
The NBA's Sacramento Kings have invited China's national team point guard Liu Wei to their fall training camp, a move that could make Liu the first Chinese guard to join the world's elite basketball league.
Read More>>>>>

KOREAN SOAPS DRAW UNLIKELY AUDIENCES
On a recent Saturday night a group of white, middle-class TV fans gathered at a Northwest Side cafe to watch the final episode of their favorite show and to say goodbye to a cast of ethnically homogenous characters who had come to feel like friends.
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FLYING DAGGERS TOPS HERO
Director Zhang Yimou's heavy-hitter "House of Flying Daggers" has high-kicked its way to a record Chinese box office taking 33 million yuan, or about 4 million US dollars, for the first three days.
Read More>>>>>

ZATOICHI - TAKE ON BLIND SWORDSMAN
What separates "Zatoichi" from other swordfight movies is that the eponymous hero, played, of course, by Kitano himself, is blind.
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ZHANG ZIYI LEAD IN "MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA"
Two darlings of Hong Kong cinema, Maggie Cheung and former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, have lost out on the lead role in Steven Spielberg's next movie to China's Zhang Ziyi.
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ASIANS LACK POLITICAL CLOUT
Asian Americans are the country's second fastest-growing minority behind Hispanics. But unlike Latinos, they have virtually no national political clout.
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ERIC OWYOUNG & SOMETHING LIKE SILAS
On the surface, "Divine Invitation" could be labeled a postmodern worship album, but that would sell it short. It's more like a fine painting, reflecting the pleas of the psalmists using shades of light and dark.
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INDIANS RETURN TO INDIA WITH U.S. JOBS
Six years ago, Mrs. Dhar and her husband, Subhash, a vice president at Infosys Technologies, the Indian software giant, migrated like thousands of Indians before them, to America's Silicon Valley and its suburban good life. Like growing numbers of professional Indians who once saw their only hope for good jobs and good lives in the West, the Dhars have returned home to India.
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HAROLD & KUMAR - A DUMB STONER COMEDY?
In some ways, Mr. Leiner, Mr. Hurvitz and Mr. Schlossberg and their stars, John Cho and Kal Penn, (read Kal and John Cho's interview) are broadening a venerable tradition of ethnic humor, trafficking in stereotypes and sending them up with equal verve. But what is the film's future?
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INTERVIEW: M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN
Like his previous films, "The Village" isn't a special effects film. Shyamalan uses visual and audio details to get the story across.
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CHO UNINVITED AT GAY EVENT
The 35-year-old quip queen was "uninvited" to perform at Unity 2004, a benefit that was staged by gay and lesbian groups to coincide with the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Read More>>>>>

R.I.P.: Yoko Watanabe
"Watanabe was the first Japanese ever to have performed lead roles in the world's four major opera houses," Tsubaki said, referring to La Scala in Milan, Wiener Staatsoper in Vienna, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House in London.
Read More>>>>>

LAND OF LINKIN (PARK)
How does the biggest-selling rock band in the land get pumped up for a roof-raising, tour-ending, homecoming concert before nearly 20,000 fans? If you're Linkin Park's Brad Delson, it's not with groupies and drugs.
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NO MANCHURIANS IN "MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE"
Don't look for any Manchurians in "The Manchurian Candidate" remake. The only Manchurian is in the name of the villain an evil multinational conglomerate. Don't look for Manchuria, either the action stems from the first Gulf War. But you won't find any wacky Iraqis. The mad scientist/brainwasher is a white South African.
Read More>>>>>

AATC'S "ANTIGONE"
In the National Asian American Theater Company's "Antigone," the central tragic figure is Creon, not his wife, Eurydice, or his son, Haemon, or even Antigone all sent to their deaths by his blind insistence on law and order. Not one is even an antagonist here; the real resistance to Creon, and judgment on him, comes from the chorus, with prophetic witness from Tiresias.
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HISTORY OF BLACKFACE
The blackface minstrel act was a very popular form of entertainment in 19th-century America. It was also a highly racist depiction of African Americans. So why are so many black artists so infatuated with the minstrel legacy?
Read More>>>>>

THE REAL TAKESHI KITANO
Sure, he's won some fancy international awards and has a worldwide reputation as a gifted auteur for such films as "Hana-Bi" and now "Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman." But in Japan, few people here think of Takeshi Kitano as a director. Or, in fact, as Takeshi Kitano. Instead, he's "Beat" Takeshi. Standup comedian. Variety show host.
Read More>>>>>

INTERVIEW: OPEN WATERS' LAURA LAU & CHRIS KENTIS
When did you first have the idea to make a movie (Open Waters) based on diving and sharks?
Chris: Well, you know, we were aware of the story because Laura and I are divers. I read about it when it happened in the 1990's, but it was about three or four years ago, with the advent of all those real affordable digital technologies that now exist, and the success with the Dogme '95 films.
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KOREAN AMERICAN WRITERS FIND THEIR VOICE
And he will be overtly self-conscious of his lack of ethnic ties. He can't speak Korean, and knows very little about Korean culture. Serena says he is a gyupo, an Americanized Korean. Serena, however, speaks the language and actually studied in Seoul for two summers, and this mere fact puts Allen at a disadvantage with her parents. He is starting in negative territory. He is an ethnic dunce."
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A WORD, A FILM, A SLUR
About a decade back, Bangladeshi and Pakistani teenagers in England began re-appropriating the dreaded "Paki" word. Once a vicious epithet flung on London streets by white skinheads, the word was now a symbol of an assertive brown community. "Paki Power" graffiti appeared, a clothing label called "Pak1" did the rounds and Aki Nawaz of punk-asian band Fun^Da^Men^Tal told the press, "We're not Pacifists, we're Pakifists!"
Read More>>>>>

JUSTIN LIN MAKING "OLDBOY"
Justin Lin will be heading the "Oldboy" project. He'll be working on an English script with his Better Luck screenwriters Ernesto Foronda and Fabian Marquez. Lin is currently working on Annapolis, the story of a wannabe Naval officer with James Franco.
Read More>>>>>

MICHELLE MALKIN'S BOOK ON INTERNMENT CAMPS
My aim is to kick off a vigorous national debate on what has been one of the most undebatable subjects in Amerian history and law: President Franklin Roosevelt's homeland security policies that led to the evacuation and relocation of 112,000 ethnic Japanese on the West Coast, as well as the internment of tens of thousands of enemy aliens from Japan, Germany, Italy, and other Axis nations. This volatile issue has provided heated dialogue within many people within the APA communities.
Read More>>>>>

MCLANE & WONG / RAISING MONEY
Many struggling artists have the need to record some music or finance a tour, only they lack a necessary element: money. This article will explain different ways to raise capital in order to finance a project.
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WILLIAM HUNG IN CHINA/HK/MACAU
His 15 minutes may be up in the United States, but William Hung of Berkeley, arguably "American Idol's" most popular reject, is getting his second wind in Asia.
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THAI FILM: LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE
Allusive and enigmatic, with hallucinations that vie with reality in the characters' minds, the Thai film "Last Life in the Universe" is a wistful mood piece whose contemplative tone is periodically punctured by eruptions of violence.
Read More>>>>>

R.I.P.: TIZIANO TERZANI
Tiziano Terzani, an Italian journalist and writer who won international fame as he chronicled Asia's race toward modernity with the curiosity of a travel writer and a deep cultural sensitivity, died on July 28 at his home near Florence. He was 65.
Read More>>>>>

IT'S KOREATOWN (L.A.) - JAKE!
Few areas in Los Angeles, if any, have as lively a night life, as many after-hours spots or as much energy in the wee hours as this ethnic enclave between Hancock Park and Echo Park, not far from Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Police officials estimate there are more than 500 night-life establishments within the loosely defined boundaries of Koreatown, the highest such concentration in the city.
Read More>>>>>

FILM ON JAPANESE CAMPS
The film, titled "Time of Fear," is part of a project to preserve the long-neglected history of the two Arkansas camps. It will debut Sept. 24 during a Little Rock conference, which will reunite hundreds of former camp detainees.
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WHEN THE STREETS WERE LESS MEAN
Chinatown: an island within an island, where blocks stretch without a word of English heard or seen. Like the Italians before them, its population has a historical wariness of the authorities here, and residents, especially the elderly, are notorious for not reporting crimes, the police officers say.
Read More>>>>>

JACKIE CHAN'S REINVENTION
Jackie Chan is renowned for making each stunt better than his last, but he now must face the most death-defying act of his career: reinvention.
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SAN FRANCISCO'S MANILATOWN
In the wee hours of Aug. 4, 1977, more than 50 Asian immigrants, most from the Philippines, were evicted from the International Hotel on Kearny and Jackson streets in San Francisco. Many in the community say an important part of the city's history was lost that day. On Tuesday: August 5, that history was resurrected as city officials declared a two- block corridor of Kearny Street as "Manilatown," a designation that will serve as a reminder of the first but nearly forgotten Filipino community established in San Francisco.
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ROSEMARY HOM'S MURDER CASE REOPENED
Rosemary Hom arrived at Amay's Bakery and Noodle Co. just after 9 on a Saturday morning 10 years ago. She had planned for a long day at the family-owned business that makes and sells fortune cookies, almond cookies and noodles. Just before pulling her Mazda van into the underground parking garage, Hom waved to a co-worker. But she never entered the shop. A short while later, witnesses told authorities, someone drove the van away.
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ANSCHUTZ/FILMS/JACKIE CHAN
In late June, a few days after billionaire Philip Anschutz's big-budget movie "Around the World in 80 Days" with Jackie Chan had crashed at the box office, his top two film lieutenants sent a buck-'em-up e-mail to their dispirited troops. "While the overall performance of '80 Days' is unfortunate, it will have no impact at all on our ambitious development and production plans," the executives assured Anschutz Film Group staffers. "We will learn from this experience and move on to better commercial success in the future." Anschutz's sense of determination and destiny has made Anschutz a very rich man in such realms as real estate, pro sports and oil. But success in Hollywood is another story.
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OVERSEAS B.O. BRINGS PROFITS
Bruckheimer's "King Arthur" is just the latest epic which has performed substantially better overseas than domestically. Still in a town which wakes up to read the domestic weekend grosses every Monday morning, being big in Taiwan and Germany doesn't afford quite the same victory lap.
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"SEA TURTLES" PROBLEMS IN CHINA
Over the last two decades, 600,000 mainland Chinese have left to study abroad and 160,000, lured by stories of quick employment and fast money, have returned in search of work, government officials estimate. For years, they have been known as sea turtles, a pun on hai gui, which pronounced the same but written in different characters means "returned from overseas studies." But many have been so unsuccessful at finding work that they've earned a new nickname: seaweed, based on a double entendre that also means "returned from overseas and waiting for a job."
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THAI FILMMAKERS' U.S. SUCCESS
In a way, the film's success in its home country against far bigger- budgeted Hollywood imports mirrors the heroic stand of the villagers it depicts. Visually distinctive and shot with a documentary feel that takes audiences inside the action in an intimate, visceral way, it also illustrates the renewed vigor of Thai filmmaking.
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DEBATING THE "HONOR CRIME"
But for those who don't consent to a marriage, the results can be tragic. Sahjda Bibi was stabbed 22 times by her cousin on her wedding day because he was incensed by her defiance of cultural mores by choosing to marry a divorced man. In a case in West London, Abdalla Yones, a Kurdish Muslim, was given a life sentence for killing his 16-year-old daughter, Heshu, after finding out that she was dating a Lebanese Christian. He stabbed Heshu 11 times, sliced her throat and let her bleed to death because he disapproved of her Western lifestyle.
Read More>>>>>

TURKISH/GERMAN RAP FUSION
Turkish-German fusion finds expression in rap, as noted by children of immigrants turn to hip-hop to chart the challenges that Germany's largest minority faces as it struggles with identity.
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RUTH OZEKI'S "VACATION WITH GHOSTS"
I was curious about these Japanese children. While my features showed that I was half-Japanese, in my heart, I was all American, and where I came from - Connecticut - no one else looked like me. Now, here were children whose faces mirrored mine, but who were still not at all like me. Their tongues made high staccato sounds that my ears could not decipher. I recall one little boy calling out to me-taah-zan! taah-zan!-as he swung from his vine. When he landed on the ground, he thumped his chest and yodeled. I ran back into the house.
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LITERATURE: GHOST IN THE JUNGLE
As a writer researching a book about Hiroshima, I thought that Tinian was a must-see destination, a key link in the chain that began at the White House and ended over Hiroshima that hot August day. I started checking travel agencies. That's when I got my first surprise: practically the only way to get to Tinian is from Japan.
Read More>>>>>

LALAINE - PINAY FROM LIZZIE MCGUIRE
Avid followers of the popular Disney Channel lollipop show Lizzie McGuire (with Hilary Duff in the title role, later made into a movie) probably didn't know that the cute bubbly girl playing Miranda Sanchez, Lizzie's feisty best friend, is a Filipina.
Read More>>>>>

LOCKE, LIM, LEE & BAUTISTA
Focused on personal portraits, SEARCHING FOR ASIAN AMERICA explores the lives of four very different individuals: Gary Locke, the Chinese American governor of the state of Washington; Martin Bautista and Jeffrey Lim, Filipino physicians living in rural Oklahoma, and Lela Lee, a young Korean American actress and the creator of the popular web comic "Angry Little Girls."
Read More>>>>>

DELL'S CEO - KEVIN B. ROLLINS
Dell chose Kevin B. Rollins as its CEO. He joined Dell in 1996 as Senior V.P. and named COO in 2001. Since then, Mr. Rollins and Mr. Dell have largely shared the duties and responsibilities for running Dell.
Read More>>>>>

BLACKEYE PEAS' FILIPINO VIDEO DIRECTOR
The video -- a low-budget but remarkably polished work by a young Filipino American indie filmmaker (Patricio Ginelsa) -- is for a tune called "The Apl Song," off the Black Eyed Peas' platinum-selling album Elephunk.
Read More>>>>>

NARA PRESENTS CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT DATABASES
The National Archives Great Lakes Region announces the creation of two new databases for the so-called "Chinese Exclusion Act" records of the Immigration & Naturalization Service (RG 85). While these records have been available for research at the Great Lakes Regional Archives for several years, these finding aids will enable genealogists, scholars, academics and the general public to more fully explore the information contained within the files.
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BOBBY YEE - PRESIDENT OF PARIS LAS VEGAS
Bobby Yee, president of Paris Las Vegas, where "We Will Rock You" will be presented in a 1,450-seat hall with six huge plasma screens, notes that the hall's previous Broadway-style occupant, "Notre Dame de Paris," didn't do well. Yee wasn't there at the time, but the accepted explanation for its failure, he says, was its downbeat ending. Visitors to Vegas like happy endings, and "We Will Rock You" has one. He is continuing the trend that not only are the Strip's lights brighter than those on the Great White Way, but its marquees might soon look as if they're actually near Times Square, judging from the Broadway-style fare that is gradually invading.
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R.I.P.: KYI MAUNG (MYANMAR DEMOCRACY LEADER)
Kyi Maung, a former army officer who became a leading member of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement but later fell out with its leader, died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 85.
Read More>>>>>

DAT PHAN FIGHTS STEREOTYPES WITH JOKES
``I deal with Bruce Lee's philosophy,'' he says. ``You can't change people with your fist by fighting all the time. . . . He exposed part of his culture with his martial arts. I expose my culture with stand-up comedy. . . . I speak my truth.''
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ZHANG DANG DOODLE (HERO)
Jaws will drop because "Hero" is a floating world of a different color. Few directors since Peter Brook have had Zhang's sweet tooth for intense hues, and nobody has his rainbow eye for poetically nuanced detail. Hero is a series of tales told to the prudently paranoid king (Chen Daoming) who struggled to unite China about 2,200 years ago.
Read More>>>>>

QUEST USA ON DVD
With the completion of the US broadcast schedule for Quest USA, Da Tiao Zhan, the first Chinese reality show in the US, House Films, (a New York based production company) has released a DVD of all 12 episodes available immediately.
Read More>>>>>

CARLY FIORINA AIMS FOR ENTERTAINMENT BIZ
Chief Executive Carly Fiorina will sell a version of Apple Computer's iPod music player and launching a package of technology products and services for the production side of the business.
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ENTERTAINMENT BIZ'S STEALTH MARKETING
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On the eve of the 100th anniversary of Chinese film, Zhang trying to pull off a feat that some see as the industry's best hope for survival: create a film (House of Flying Daggers) that is commercially successful both at home and abroad. His new movie is one of the very few that could hope to compete against Western blockbusters. China has a huge population but an extremely small audience for local movies.
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