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November 2004 NEWS

On November 2, people have the opportunity to vote on who will become the President of the United States. It is our hope that every eligible voter will make their voice known by VOTING, as the U.S. are facing crucial issues that will have effect for many years. Click HERE to review information related to the Presidential election.

This Presidential election will have a large impact in the legal area (i.e. Supreme Court judge appointments), our reputation in the Middle East (i.e. Prime Minister Iyad Allawai, Iraq's upcoming election, Iran, Palestine & Israel), international working relationship (i.e. United Nations), medical research (i.e. stem cell research), in Asia (i.e. business relationships in China, India, etc.), nuclear disarmament (i.e. North Korea, Iran), U.S. armed forces (i.e. deployment, funding, etc.), in Africa's ever-worsening conditions of poverty (i.e. Nigeria, African Union, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Ethiopia, AIDS in Africa, South Africa, Somalia), terrorism (i.e. bin Laden, Iraq, Al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran) - among many other issues.

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:

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.

APA Media Polls Art Business
Christianity Community Cuisine
Diversity Fashion Featured Artists
Film Literature Marketing
Music Online Gaming Philanthropy
Politics Sports Tourism

Recognizing that understanding how the Asian Pacific American communities interact with events within Asia and/or the United States is important, feel free to review the news that is happening throughout Asia by reviewing the various categories broken down by countries.

Listed below are some thoughts for your review on various important and current issues that deserves separate consideration because of their impact. For your consideration, consider the words that describe the following:

Screenwriters' Success Stories

Persuasive Language of Liberty
Lincoln, the most eloquent of American presidents, trusted meticulous and lyrical language as an instrument of gentle persuasion, and he accepted contradiction as a necessary condition for truth. He proclaimed his conviction that it was not might that makes right but, rather, it is striving to be right that makes one mighty. "Let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it," Lincoln said. The writers that evening joined his unquiet ghost in hoping that words still have the power to change the world.

Yung Wing - Yellow in a White World
Yung Wing's message to us. His story tells us what it means to be yellow in a white world. His is a story of choices, a story of hope, a story of obligation, a story of accomplishment. And it is, in the end, a story of Justice: the justice that Asian Americans seek, and the justice Asian Americans can create. As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "the moral arc of the universe is long, but it arcs toward justice."

Tough Decisions Are Made by the Oval Office
American presidents are finaglers, "Decisions" (television program) tells us. They sometimes ignore public opinion or uncomfortable facts when they think that the survival of the nation is at stake. They're politicians. They bully, seduce and flatter the opposition, foreign or domestic. They are routinely vilified by opponents as the most dire threat to the republic since its creation. One film clip shows a 1940 protester outside the White House with a sign, "Hitler Has Not Attacked Us — Why Attack Hitler?"

Minority Philantropists
"Many institutions don't 'make the ask'...They figure, black people don't have the money. They don't go there. They're really missing the opportunity," said the director of donor relations at the New York Community Trust, Gay Young. The study is based on interviews with 166 Asian-American, African- American, and Latino donors in the New York metropolitan region. These minorities comprise 40% of the population in the region, and 60% of the population in New York City.

Question of Messianism Vs. Liberation
Messianism can turn restrictive while liberation can become excessive. So 17th-century debates about theocracy and liberalism, law and liberty, necessarily remain unresolved, even as, in the New World, for the Jews and so many others, considerable promise is being fulfilled.

Successful Screenwriters Failure-Filled Past
Two years ago, Marc Cherry was a 40-year-old television writer who felt his career was rapidly sliding downhill. His script, "Desperate Housewives," had been sent to every broadcast and cable network as a black comedy and was rejected by all of them. His agent was arrested for embezzlement and went to jail - then came ABC.

In his late 40s, Brad Bird is one of those talents who almost got squashed by the Hollywood system. He knocked around for years, impressing some with his "Family Dog" episode of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories," his work on "The Simpsons" (where he breathed life into Krusty the Clown), his little-seen but often admired animated film, 1999's "The Iron Giant." He got fired from other jobs for being too opinionated, for pushing too hard to make films better. He spent a lot of time watching film projects wither. "I could always get on the runway, but various things would happen that are boring and typical in Hollywood," he says. "There's not a lot of courage in Hollywood and not a lot of vision." Then came the project "The Incredibles."

California Becoming Home to White Pessimism
Once known as the land of futurists and dreamers, California is increasingly home to pessimists. Often nostalgic, newspaper commentators, novelists, journalists and social critics issue jeremiads about paradise lost and the coming dystopia. California has always had its share of apocalyptic prophets, but these voices are no longer cries in the wilderness; they reflect a growing public mood in the once Golden State. There is a racial dimension to all the gloominess. The downbeat outlook is in large part driven by Anglos, the state's largest minority. Although they enjoy the highest per capita income and are significantly more likely to own a home than any other group, Anglos appear to be suffering from a bad case of "declinism."

California's Support of the Arts
California continues to rank dead last in per capita state funding for the arts, yet a new report by a national arts advocacy organization gives the state a B grade and ranks it 17th in the U.S. when it comes to arts support from its delegates in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the wake of massive budget cuts, the state spends an annual 9 cents per citizen, compared with a national average of $1.17. But California's strong support for federal dollars for the arts suggests that the poor record at the state level has more to do with the state's overall economic woes than a weak commitment to the arts.

Media's "Coverage" of the Arts
Our findings reveal an alarming trend: During the last five years, none of the papers we looked at increased the amount of their arts criticism and reporting. Editors at many dailies are filling smaller news holes with more and therefore shorter stories. Pieces on "high" arts, as well as those with hard reporting about cultural institutions, continue to take a backseat to soft-focus features on the latest movie star, CD or rock concert."

Music's "Peace, Love and Understanding
Nick Lowe's Lyrics to his song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?"

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searching for light in the darkness of insanity
I ask myself "Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?"
And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

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BETTY ONG - 9/11 HERO

 
 

The 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean declared: "Betty Ong is a true American hero." He stated that "we have to remind ourselves of exactly what it was like that day. . . wasn't just a tragedy but a triumph ... of heroes."

San Francisco's Mayor Willie Brown proclaimed Sept. 21 "Betty Ong Day," saying, "When 180,000 San Franciscans say their prayers, they can say the angel, Betty Ong, by name."

This was expressed because this 5' 9" native of San Francisco's Chinatown (a 14-year veteran of American Airlines and known to her friends as "Bee") was a victim of the terrorists and the first hero of that fateful day of September 11, 2001 where terrorist attacks killed 3,000 people in New York and Washington, DC. in the greatest American catastrophe of modern times.

The Ong Family (elder brother Harry, older sisters Cathie and Gloria and her parents -Harry Sr. and Yee-gum Oy) can be genuinely proud that their beloved daughter, and sister, was that rare person who embodied both exceptional courage and uncommon kindness. She literally made the world a better place simply by being in it. The many people who are familiar with Todd Beamer's courage ("Let's roll") will hopefully remember Betty Ong's.

Actions On That Fateful Day
It was 7:59 on a radiant September morning when American Airlines Flight 11 lifted off from Boston's Logan Airport, bound for LA. On board were 81 passengers, two pilots and a cabin crew of nine. Sitting in Business Class were Mohammed Atta and four fellow terrorists. Less than an hour after take-off, Atta deliberately flew the Boeing 767 into the World Trade Center's North Tower.

Within minutes of the hijacking, and despite the murderous mayhem on board, Ong bravely grabbed a crew phone to call colleagues on the ground.

"My name is Betty Ong," she said after reaching the reservations office in North Carolina, speaking quickly but in a tone that was remarkably calm and lucid. "I'm on Flight 11." She explained that she had been forced to the back of the jet, which was hijacked shortly after leaving Boston on a flight to Los Angeles.

"The cockpit is not answering the phone," she said from a jump seat at the back of the Boeing 767, calling to the ground from one of the crew phones that she would normally use to communicate with other crew members on the plane.

"There is somebody stabbed in business class. They can't breathe in business class. They've got Mace or something. I think we're getting hijacked," Ong said from her seat in the back of American Airlines Flight 11 scheduled to arrive in L.A. from Boston. "The cockpit's not answering their phone, and there's somebody stabbed in business class. ... I think there's Mace."

"Our Number 1 (attendant) got stabbed, our purser got stabbed; we don't know who stabbed who," Ong said. "We can't get up to business class because we can't breathe."

Ong's call came in to the airline's reservations office in Cary, N.C., about 8:20 a.m. that day. Nydia Gonzalez kept Ong on the phone for 23 minutes. With a "calm, professional and poised demeanor," Gonzalez said, Ong provided critical details, including the seat numbers of the five hijackers. That allowed authorities to quickly identify them.

Ong also revealed the terrorists' strategy of using Mace or pepper spray to keep most passengers in the back of the jet andthe stabbing of her co-workers and that the cockpit door was locked, with at least some of the hijackers inside. She identified the seats the terrorists had occupied, enabling the FBI to learn the hijackers' passport details.

"Our first-class galley attendant and our purser are stabbed," she said. "We can't get into the cockpit. The door won't open."

"Can anybody get to the cockpit?" she can be heard asking someone nearby on the plane. "We can't even get to the cockpit. Nobody can call the cockpit. We can't even get inside."

"Is there a doctor on board?"

There was silence on the tape as Ms. Gonzalez listened to Ms. Ong's reply. "They don't have any doctors on board," Ms. Gonzalez told the operations center. "The aircraft is erratic again. She did say that the first-class passengers have been moved back to coach."

There were a few moments of silence. "Is anybody there?" Ms. Ong asked.

"Yes, we're here . . you're doing a great job, just stay calm," Ms. Gonzalez (an American Airlines supervisor) told Ms. Ong.

"I'm staying on the line as well," said Ms. Ong.

Fifteen minutes after Ong first alerted the world to what was happening, the big Boeing suddenly lurched, tilting wildly. She said the pilots were probably no longer flying the airplane. The 767 approached Manhattan, flying ever lower.

Still on the line, Ong said in a composed voice: "Pray for us. Pray for us." Seconds later the line went dead.

The Boeing 767 with suspected 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta and four others rammed into the World Trade Center's north tower at 8:46 A.M.

 

JAY SEAN

 
 

Jay Sean, (whose real name is Kamaljit - "but everyone calls me Nicky") the 22 years old British-born native from Hounslow & 1st Asian Prince of Pop/r&b singer & rapper, has become an idol for every Asian guy or girl who wants to do something in music.

Among Asians, his star status is indisputable: in May 2004, 160 million viewers watched him at the MTV India Awards. At the Mela, he was engulfed by glossy-tressed young women with camera phones, desperate to capture his sharp-featured good looks.

This artist left medical school in summer 2003 to pursue a music career. He developed a intense passion for hip hop and more inspired by the lyrical skills of Notorious BIG, Fu-Shnickens, Treach from Naughty by Nature, Grand Puba and Mobb Deep. This artist is putting Punjabi into the charts.

At 15, Jay became one half of hip-hop duo `Compulsive Disorder', that developed his rap skills and writing style that defined his distinctive "British Wit" that paints a picture of his life experiences.

Growing up, Jay listened to a diverse range of artists from traditional Bollywood artists to R&B singers like Donnell Jones, Eric Benet, Boyz II Men and Musiq Soulchild.

In Christmas 2002, he was signed to Rishi Rich's (i.e. Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez) 2Point9 record label. Rishi decided to include Jay in his debut Rishi Rich Project record – a project aimed to showcase up-and coming talent.

The trio which form the Rishi Rich Project: Producer Rishi Rich, singer/songwriter Juggy D and singer/songwriter Jay Sean are all gearing up to release singles and albums in the upcoming months and continue their offensive on the British Asian music scene.

Jay was signed to Relentless Records/Virgin Records in July 2003, the label responsible for hits such as Artful Dodger/Craig David – Rewind, Daniel Beddingfield – You gotta get thru this and Master of Ceremonies – Do you really like this. The critically acclaimed debut single "Dance with you (nachna tere naal)" featuring Juggy D reached number 12 in the UK charts in September 2003 and paved the way for Jay's solo project released in early 2004.

A Sikh, Sean may not yet be fully practicing ("When I'm 40, I'd like to have the beard and turban") but still prays every night and goes to temple whenever he can. The biggest life change for him so far, is trying to deal with the attention he attracts.

 

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APA & MEDIA NEWS

MAMORU OSHII / GHOST IN THE SHELL 2
The future is a bleak and lonely place, and the present's not much better. That's the unhappy conclusion Mamoru Oshii, celebrated anime director and scriptwriter, has come to after 53 years of life and reflected in his latest film, "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence."
Read More>>>>>

BRUCE MAU'S MASSIVE CHANGE
Bruce Mau, the son of a miner and graduate of Tornoto's Ontario College of Art & Design, is a thinking man's designer who goes beyond the limits of the visual, incorporating the whole gestalt of what we are involved with in our lives.
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KENT NAGANO LEAVES L.A. OPERA
Los Angeles Opera music director Kent Nagano will leave his post when his contract expires at the end of the 2005-06 season. It wasn't a surprise since in 2003, around the time Nagano signed a three-year contract to become the first music director in the company's history, he also accepted an appointment as music director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany.
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CHRISTMAS WITH WILLIAM HUNG
There's no better way to celebrate the upcoming holiday season than to enjoy some holiday classics sung by America's favorite idol, William Hung's "Hung for the Holidays" on KOCH Records.
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ANTHONY HSIEH NOW A "LENDING TREE"
Anthony Hsieh, the 39-year-old owner of Home LoanCenter.com, sold his business to LendingTree, a unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp that matches borrowers and lenders. Hsieh will report to LendingTree's founder and chief executive, Douglas Lebda another Internet entrepreneur, who a year ago sold his start-up to IAC, which is run by Hollywood- turned-online mogul Barry Diller.
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LELAND WONG FUNDRAISER CANCELLED
The fundraiser was to have been held the evening of Sept. 16 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The invitation lists the Bonaventure's owner, Peter Zen, and Panda Restaurant Group Chairman Andrew Cherng as hosts of the event. Wong is listed on a separate line as a co-host.
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JACKIE CHAN ENVIES DE NIRO
Martial-arts star Jackie Chan claims Hollywood limits roles for Asians and says it's time he became a "real actor" by taking on roles other than as a kung-fu fighter. "It's all the same: cop from Hong Kong, cop from China. Jet Li, Chow- Yun Fat and I all face the same problem, our roles are limited," said Chan, 50, referring to other Chinese action stars who have sought roles in Hollywood movies.
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HENRY YUEN'S PAYOUT FACES REVIEW
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco granted a Securities and Exchange Commission request that a panel of 11 judges review whether former Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. Chief Executive Henry Yuen should collect $29.5 million in severance that was frozen after regulators accused him of accounting fraud. A three-member panel in May ruled that the SEC could not freeze Yuen's severance pending resolution of a lawsuit that claims he overstated revenue at the company.
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MICHELLE KWAN MEETS "BOLERO"
Michelle Kwan had to win eight U.S. figure skating titles and five world championships before she felt ready to perform to "Bolero." When the Manhattan Beach resident decided to tackle Maurice Ravel's dramatic composition this season, she turned to skater-turned-choreographer Christopher Dean, who teamed with Jayne Torvill in a gold medal-winning ice dance to "Bolero" at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
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MICKEY MOUSE MARKETED IN MAINLAND CHINA
Walt Disney Co. has partnered with "Youth Palaces" run by China's Communist Youth League to build awareness of its stories and characters in the mainland ahead of the opening of a Hong Kong Disneyland theme park in late 2005 or early 2006.
Read More>>>>>

FASHIONS OF ELEY KISHIMOTO
Mark Eley, along with his wife and design partner, Wakako Kishimoto, has built one of the success stories of British fashion. Despite their reputation as print specialists, the designers have built a formidable ready-to-wear business. Their collections are consistently among the best sellers at their 210 stockists worldwide, and their quirky silhouettes and prints have a loyal following in Britain and Japan. Eley Kishimoto began life just over a decade ago with a textile business on the ground floor of what is now their three-storey studio near Brixton prison in south London.
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ANNA MAY WONG IN "PICCADILLY
Anna May Wong is the kind of gorgeous that burns right through a camera lens, and the kind of mesmerizing that seems without effort or end. Though you may not have heard of her, she's the definition of memorable, which is undoubtedly the chief reason the 1929 silent film "Piccadilly" can now be seen in an especially rich and lengthy sepia-drenched version restored by the British Film Institute.
Read More>>>>>

HONG KONG'S MARTIAL ART FILMS
The delirious and often dazzling cinema of Hong Kong has picked up more than its share of Western admirers in the last 15 or 20 years and films like Tsui Hark's "Peking Opera Blues" (1986) and John Woo's "Better Tomorrow'' (1986) - seemed to come out of nowhere. But they didn't. NYC's retrospective tell the story of how Hong Kong cinema, between the 50's and the 70's, reinvented its mission and even its destiny. Its fate, as things turned out, was not to make moviegoers sad but to make them absurdly, unreasonably happy.
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SEX, MONEY & ASIAN STEREOTYPES
In products like Hawaii and Kill Bill Hollywood exploits the most Asian of elements to sell offsetting fantasies that reinforce Asian stereotypes. Sexual devaluation is the only viable offsetting fantasy strategy against Asians, given the unquestionable strength Asians have shown in the economic arena. Hollywood is growing ever more skillful in surgically exploiting Asian genres and filmmaking techniques to produce movies that serve its own purposes.
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MARGARET CHO ON MICHELLE MALKIN
Michelle Malkin, the author of the controversial book, In Defense of Internment fiercely trying to defend her position. Her take on the racial politics of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is quite outrageous, especially for an Asian American. Even though she has a white name, it doesn't make her so. (Note: Read Jeff Yang's commentary by clicking HERE. She is living proof that bigotry has gone multicultural says Margaret Cho.
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YOYO MA'S VISION OF MUSIC & TECHNOLOGY
YoYo Ma has not only broken down musical barriers but also embraced the latest technologies to forge connections across barriers of time, geography and culture. For him, using modern technology to create musical and cultural connections is about spreading one simple message: "We've got to emotionally feel interdependent. Not codependent in the negative sense, but interdependent in the sense that everybody has strengths.'' "We actually do have to live in one world,'' he added, "and all of this technology is making it more essential that we have a way of thinking about a whole because we know that the alternative is disaster, is total, utter disaster.''
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ALICE WU'S "SAVING GRACE"
Debuting writer-director Alice Wu's romantic comedy-drama "Saving Face" (w/Michelle Krusiec, Joan Chen and Lynn Chen) is a warmly observed, low-key charmer about a closeted Chinese- American lesbian and her traditionalist mother, both reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations. .
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ICHIRO BREAKS SISLER RECORD
Ichiro Suzuki tied the 84-year-old major league record for hits in a season with No. 257 when he chopped a leadoff single to left field Friday night then broke the record with a single in the third. The Seattle star passed the mark set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns over a 154-game schedule in 1920.
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METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ARTS & CHINA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's groundbreaking "China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 A.D." (which took seven years to assemble is the Met's largest exhibition of Chinese art (that includes the lives of ordinary citizens and court life) since the splendid Palace Museum show in 1996.
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REGINE'S NEW C.D. & TOUR
Regine Velasquez releases her newest Viva Records c.d. "Covers" - a compilation of most of her favorite OPM songs rendered by mostly male artists. Cacai Velasquez, her sister and who is the one standing as her manager, will be the one managing that music & clothing business for her.
Read More>>>>>

GOING HOME BARBIE
Going Home Barbie is a special-edition doll that Mattel has been manufacturing in various styles since 2001. She can't be found in stores, and she isn't being hyped on Saturday-morning TV; only about 6,000 of her kind are made each year, and all are distributed free at just one location in the world: the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, China. To get the doll, you have to stay at the famous five-star hotel, and you have to check out with at least one more child than you had when you entered the country.
Read More>>>>>

VIETNAM WAR & U.S. POLITICS
The Vietnam War has returned to the forefront of American politics lately as presidential candidate John Kerry campaigns on his bona fide war veteran record. Within the Vietnamese American community, the feelings toward the war and Vietnam itself are considerably more nuanced and complicated particularly with two new anti-Communist resolutions that passed in Little Saigon in May.
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THE ASIAN CHALLENGE
The Asian challenge - drawing New York City's diverse Asian community (in which 32 languages are spoken) to NYC theater poses a unique challenge, said Lillian Cho, executive director of the Asian American Arts Alliance. Faced with a mostly white theater audience, marketers turn their attention to New York's minorities.
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GUILT IN A FILIPINO FAMILY
In the United States we tend to think that money can solve just about anything. But in Han Ong's novel, "The Disinherited," we see it's not always the salvation one might hope for. His first novel, "Fixer Chao," won critical acclaim upon its release in 2001, and Ong, a Filipino American writer who immigrated to the U.S. at age 16 and went on to be named one of the youngest MacArthur Fellows in 1997 for his playwriting, now gives us a book pitting First World money and ennui against Third World poverty and blind hope.
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LEGACY OF CHILDHOOD DISPLACEMENT
The Vietnam War, along with themes of abandonment and dislocation, are among the links in "We Should Never Meet," a collection of eight stories by Aimee Phan, a 26-year-old Orange County native who now lives and teaches in Las Vegas.
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WHITES & ORANGE COUNTY
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that whites are no longer a majority in Orange County, where steady growth in Asian and Latino populations has dramatically changed a once-homogeneous suburban landscape. The news still contrasts sharply with the region's image a stereotype kept alive by popular TV shows such as "The OC" and "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County" that portray an affluent and largely white population living by the beach.
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$1M DONATION TO WING LUKE MUSEUM
Ellen Gerguson and her father's $1 million gift is the first of its size to the Wing Luke Museum capital campaign. The Wing Luke is the only pan-Asian Pacific American museum of its kind in the country. It is in the midst of a $25 million capital campaign that will move it into the East Kong Yick building, located at South King Street and Eighth Avenue South. Quadruple the size of its current building, the new museum is expected to open in the fall of 2007.
Read More>>>>>

JOHN WOO DIRECTS "HE-MAN"
Fox 2000 has set John Woo ("Paycheck") to direct and produce He-Man, a live-action film based on the characters in Mattel's "Masters of the Universe" line of action figures. Adam Rifkin will adapt the screenplay. Woo is also attached to direct The Rock in the video game adaptation "Spy-Hunter" for Universal Pictures and the remake of the French classic "The Red Circle."
Read More>>>>>

KILL KITTY TOUR / CHANG CHENG-YUE
Multi-platinum selling Chinese modern rock artist, Chang Cheng-Yue is the first Chinese artist of the genre to tour (via House of Blues Tours and Talent) the United States. Cheng-Yue, whose music and popularity in his native China is frequently compared to a cross between Incubus, Blink 182 and Robbie Williams, has sold more than three million albums and plays for crowds of more than 40,000 in his native China and Taiwan.
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MINORITIES ARE MAJORITY IN MANY AREAS
From sprawling urban areas to rural counties, racial and ethnic minorities outnumber whites in more parts of the country, according to 2003 Census estimates out today. Denver and Orange County, Calif., as well as remote Yoakum County, Texas, and Barbour County, Ala., are among 26 counties where whites who are not Hispanic have lost their majority status since 2000. That's now the case in 280 of the nation's 3,141 counties, further evidence that diversity has spread.
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ANG LEE & LARRY MCMURTRY
Director Ang Lee and writer Larry McMurtry have had a falling out over changes that Lee reportedly made to McMurtry's script for Focus Picture's Brokeback Mountain, which concerns a homosexual love affair between two cowboys.
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FEW ROLES FOR MINORITY ACTORS
Minority actors, with the exception of Native Americans, saw their share of television and film roles continue to decline last year, mirroring the overall trend of actors losing jobs to reality TV and runaway production. Much of the loss was said to be concentrated among lead roles for Asians and Latino male lead roles in primetime, which dropped 35% and 31%, respectively. For Asian actors, the number of roles fell 2.1%, and 35% for males in prime-time spots.
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MERCHANT-IVORY TAKES ON SHANGHAI
Famed for their high-minded dramas in exotic locales, the producing-directing team of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory (with Shanghai Film Group) are taking on Shanghai for their 47th movie. Set in the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of the 1930s, "The White Countess" portrays the relationship between a blind, disillusioned former American diplomat played by Ralph Fiennes and an exiled Russian noblewoman portrayed by Natasha Richardson.
Read More>>>>>

MOSAIC FELLOWSHIP - 50% APA CONGREGATION
Mosaic's membership represents 57 nationalities, almost half of them Asian and the rest a mixture of Latinos, whites, blacks and others. About 80% are single; the average age is 24. Jennifer Cho, a journalist in the Inland Valley who grew up in a traditional Presbyterian home, says that God is made more personal for her in a setting like Mosaic.
Read More>>>>>

WAR TRASH - WRITTEN BY HA JIN
In reading Ha Jin's powerfully moving ''War Trash,'' one might be forgiven for forgetting that it's a work of imaginative fiction and not a nonfiction account by an elderly Chinese man writing in fastidious, plain-spoken English of his years as a P.O.W. in United States and South Korean military prisons during the Korean War.
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ASSIMILIATION & MULTICULTURALISM
Even as government, business and organizations strive to better reach the first-generation immigrant by crafting new messages and speaking their languages, they may soon have to reconsider their approaches because the number of American-born children of immigrants is exploding despite the cult of cultural preservation encouraging us to believe that contemporary immigrant ethnicity and culture are constant over time.
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STATE OF APA MALES IN THE MEDIA
I was most surprised by these findings. True, Los Angeles has a proportionally similar amount of Asian American males on the news and in the community and Honolulu looks to be reasonably close. However, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, and New York--each with an Asian American population around 8%--have almost no Asian American male newscasters.
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FOREIGN VISITORS VENTURE BACK
Travelers stayed away in droves after 9/11. But the numbers are up in the first half of this year and California reaps the benefits. During the first six months of this year, the number of visitors increased by 16% and the number of visas for visits rose 14%.
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INTEL & NOKIA DEVELOPING "SMART" PHONES
Intel Corp. and Nokia Corp. will jointly develop "smart" phones that run on the Symbian operating system, the two tech giants said, unveiling their first major cooperative effort in cellphones.
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LAS VEGAS' BUFFETS
Vegas is Vegas, and it will always have buffets. But lately, the casino owners have upped the ante with food halls so huge, so elaborate, they're over the top even in this town that caters to the numbers of the Chinese communities. Check out the reviews of the eight most popular places.
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ASIA HEROES (UNDER 40)
Entertainers - Shah Rukh Khan, Yuan Yuan Tan, Anoushka Shankar & Yuuya Yagira
Athletes - Liu Xiang, Song Aree, Muttiah Muralitharan & Ichiro Suzuki
Iconoclasts - Pham Thi Hue, Mukhtar Mai & Royston Tan
Role Models - Nigo & Hong Suk Chun
Educators - John Wood & Sabriye Tenberken
Activists - Jackie Hung, Ahmad Nader Nadery & Gautam Goswami
Conservationists - Houch Houan & Butet Manurung
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FOOD TESTS HOLD UP ASIAN IMPORTS
The products shipped into Southern California from Asia are worth $250,000 but are perhaps months, away from finding their way onto supermarket shelves and dining tables. The food is caught up in a clash of cultures, pitting Los Angeles- based Asian food distributors against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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GROWTH AREA: SPECIALTY FILMS
Tom Freston . . . made it clear he views the specialty film world as one of the leading growth areas in the movie business. "Once you get past the tent-pole movies like 'Spider-Man' or 'Shrek,' the indie film companies are the most financially viable part of the business today," he explained. "A specialty company is a place where you can make a profit on pictures at a relatively low risk, market movies more cheaply and build talent relationships that provide access to great material and bring new creative energy to the parent studio
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WESTERN VISITOR DECIPHERS CHINA
Romantic about life, Faison is realistic about China. Corruption rises like a stench from his pages. One chapter is titled "Encounters With the Police." Politics, of course, is the ultimate Chinese secret, and Faison threw himself into covering the democracy movement of 1989 and its tragic denouement in Tiananmen Square for the South China Morning Post; the stress and tumble of those events brought him to the brink of nervous collapse.
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NOBU NEW YORK'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY
Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, the fiftysomething chef from Japan, has launched a revolution in the way Americans look at Japanese food, the way the Japanese look at America, and the way everybody eats. He's got 11 thriving restaurants in far-flung places such as Milan, Aspen, London, and Las Vegas. His provocative cooking style is shamelessly copied but still seems crazily inventive and altogether devastating. 2004 marks the 10th anniversary of Nobu New York, the restaurant that Matsuhisa's partners, Robert De Niro and Drew Nieporent, waited six years for him to launch.
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FILM REVIEW: 2046
Crucially, the superbly played half-hour section describing the affair between writer-gigolo Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and Mainland goodtime gal Bai Ling (Zhang Ziyi) remains intact, with this relationship still forming the emotional core of the movie and returning for a powerful punch near the end. Though only fifth- billed, young thesp Zhang is still the femme standout amid a star- laden cast.
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MARGARET WONG'S MCWONG INTERNATIONAL
Wong, whom friends call "The Empress" for her unflinching management style, is one of the pioneers doing business with the new, capitalist China, where connections and cultural awareness often count more than contracts and civil lawsuits. She's president of McWong International, a West Sacramento-based trading and manufacturing company she says does more than $50 million a year in business with China. China, now the United States' third-largest trading partner, is reshaping the U.S. economy.
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WB & CHINA JOINT VENTURE IN FILM PROJECTS
Warner China Film Corporation (WCFC) will be the first partnership approved under the new Chinese regulations regarding Chinese and foreign joint ventures for the film production/distribution arena. This Beijing-based collaborative company is a partnership between the state-run corporation, China Film Group, and the private movie/TV corporation, the Hengdian Group.
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QUOTAS FOR AA STUDENTS?
"Chinese and ALL Asian Americans are PENALIZED for their values on academic excellence by being required to have a HIGHER level of achievement, academic and non-academic, than any other demographic group, especially Whites, in order to be admitted to Harvard, the Ivies and the other Elites in this zero-sum game called admissions based on racial preferences."
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UTADA HIKARU IN THE U.S.
Utada Hikaru doesn't do cleavage. She doesn't tend to flash acres of golden abs, as do divettes Britney and Jessica and Christina when the cameras are ogling them. And only rarely does Utada, Japan's reigning pop princess since she was a wee 15, take her bare legs for a stroll. "When I dress girlie in New York, I always feel like I look like a hooker just because I'm Asian," says the tiny 21-year-old.
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NEGATIVE KOREAN COMMENTS ON OPRAH
World famous talk show host Oprah Winfrey has sparked a storm by making comments that seemed contemptuous of Korean women. During a recent episode of her talk show "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Winfrey (with Lisa Ling) was discussing women's image and fashion culture around the world when she disparaged Korean women, saying they have "an obsession with plastic surgery."
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IPOD LIFTS APPLE PROFITS
Strong sales of the sleek digital music players propelled Apple Computer Inc. to its biggest fiscal fourth-quarter profit in nine years and cast a "halo effect" that boosted the company's core desktop and laptop computers.
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MICROSOFT'S MEDIA CENTER
PC for the Living Room Microsoft takes aim at capturing more of the digital entertainment market with new version of Media Center
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RAGNAROK
It's one of the more unlikely recipes for online gaming: Take one ancient Norse myth about the end of the cosmos. Add a helping of manhwa, the Korean equivalent of Japanese manga graphic novels. Stir in 27 million players, more or less. And there you have it the phenomenon known as Ragnarok.
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DAVID WU ADMITS TO INEXCUSABLE BEHAIVOR
A Democratic congressman in a tight re-election race admitted that when he was a college student 28 years ago, he was disciplined by school officials for "inexcusable behavior" toward an ex-girlfriend.
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SUCCESSFUL KOREAN NYC MADAM
In the highly competitive world of paid companionship, Mae Lee knows that a string of disappointed clients can hobble an enterprise that thrives on reliability, discretion and customer satisfaction.
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LIFE & TIMES OF SANDRA OH
While filming her latest movie, the drama "Sorry Haters," co-starring Robin Wright Penn, the 33-year- old Ontario-born actress Sandra Oh is awaiting the releases of a half dozen films - including "3 Needles," a Canadian drama in which she plays a nun nursing African AIDS victims. She will also be seen in a new television series, the ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" - her first TV role since playing Robert Wuhl's spunky assistant on the HBO comedy "Arli$$."
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BERTHA BAY SA-PAN'S "FACE"
Everything is clicking in the independent film "Face," (with Kristy Wu, Treach, Will Yun Lee and Bai Ling) but this tale of an estranged mother and daughter who both struggle with their Asian American identity and the choices they make won't work if Bai Ling isn't any good -- and she is very, very good.
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P.O.D. SINGER INVESTOR IN VIDEO GAME CO.
P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval has become an investor in video gaming events company Gamecaster Inc. He also has been named music director of the firm and will perform as on-camera talent.
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AA PHILANTHROPISTS
Leveraging the powerful social network that exists among well- educated Asian-Americans, Project by Project coordinates volunteer opportunities and raises money for smaller grassroots nonprofits that serve the Asian-American community. Project by Project's organizers believe that they provide leadership and vision.
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AA FILM FESTIVAL IN BOSTON
The idea came to Jennifer Fang in February while hearing Eric Byler, the Asian-American director of the 2002 film "Charlotte Sometimes," speak at a conference. After a little research, she began asking friends, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a Asian American film festival (in Boston)?"
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MARKETING IMPACT OF YAO
In the two years that he has been their pitchman, Yao is already helping the NBA, McDonald's sell more Big Macs, Pepsi more soda, and Reebok more basketball shoes in China. His agents, an eclectic bunch called Team Yao, made a confidential, five-year marketing plan developed with the help of University of Chicago MBA students. Walt Disney Co./Miramax Books Div. is publishing Yao's life story (excerpts from the book can be read by clicking HERE.
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HANDSONIAN INSTITUTE INCLUDES LINKIN PARK
Ultra-suave Modeling School co-founder Nathaniel Merriweather, better known as hotshot producer and former Gorillaz member Dan Nakamura produced the "Greatest Mistake" track with John Oates (of Hall & Oates), ex-Tarnation frontwoman Paula Frazer and Jamie Cullen. Other celebrity guests on their "White People" project includes Father Guido Sarducci, Tim Meadows, Neptunes' Pharrell Williams, RZA, Linkin Park vocalists Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, Jack Johnson, De La Soul, Deftones' singer Chino Moreno, EL-P, Jazzy Jay and Grand Wizard Theodore.
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MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA STARTS FILMING
Memoirs of a Geisha, a sweeping romantic epic based on the internationally acclaimed best-seller by Arthur Golden, has begun filming in Los Angeles, Japan and Northern California under the direction of Rob Marshall.
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MAGGIE CHEUNG OPENS HIFF
Cheung is in Hawaii to serve on the 2004 HIFF jury alongside such luminaries as film critic and professor Emanuel Levy and Australian actor David Wenham probably best known as Faramir in the "The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers." (Read a review of the Hawaiian International Film Festival by clicking HERE.
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MTV PUTS LINKIN PARK & JAZ Z TOGETHER
MTV brought Jay-Z and Linkin Park together for a tour-de-force performance at West Hollywood's famed Roxy Theatre. It was a meeting of musical minds inspired by mutual admiration and a passion for music, resulting in a combination of great songs "mashed" together as if they were meant to be paired in that way all along.
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SNOW WHITE - CHINESE STYLE
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon will write "Snow and the Seven," an East-meets-West retelling of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," for Walt Disney Pictures. Hong Kong director Yuen Wo Ping will make his English-language debut on the film.
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SEOUL RAIDERS SHOT IN HONG KONG
"Seoul Raiders," a movie which is being jointly made by Korean and Hong Kong capital, will have 90 percent of the shooting in Seoul. Cast includes Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Ren Xian Qi, both popular entertainers in Hong Kong, as an international police officer and a CIA agent in Hong Kong, respectively, this movie tells the story of a counterfeit note plate stolen by Korean gangsters.
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HIDDEN COSTS IN AIRFARE
The cost of flying doesn't end with the airfare these days Taxes and extra charges can nearly double the price of a $260 flight. Fees are being added to awards programs too.
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MAKING SECOND LANGUAGE A PRIORITY
Ellie Wen won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award for teens who have made lasting contributions to their communities. She was honored for creating RepeatAfterUs.com, a free website that matches respected English texts with sound files so that people learning the language around the world can hear it spoken as they read along.
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FUTURE OF KOBE BRYANT
Think of Kobe Bryant as we thought of him just a few years ago, when the most egregious thing he'd ever been accused of was not passing the basketball.
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LIA TAMPARONG & 2ND HAND CLOTHING
A chorus line of women mostly young or passably young sit on folding chairs in a Melrose Avenue store runned by Lia Tamparong, resigned to a long wait, looking a lot like actresses at a Hollywood cattle call.
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SONY BMG & GROKSTER JOIN FORCES
Breaking from the rest of the entertainment industry, record giant Sony BMG is cooperating with the Grokster file-sharing network on "Mashboxx" that combines free music sampling with paid downloads.
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DREAMWORKS IPO OPENS BIG
The company's stock then took its first public bow. By day's end, the shares had soared 38%, closing at $38.75, up $10.75 from the $28 price set for its initial public offering, which raised $812 million. The high demand for the stock boosted the company's market value to $4.1 billion.
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GATEWAY POST PROFITS
Gateway Inc. reported an operating profit for the first time in nearly four years, and the computer maker said it would break even or post modest net income by the end of the year as massive restructuring moves take hold.
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SONY'S NEW PSP
Sony Corp. unveiled the sticker price for its upcoming PSP hand-held game device under $200, far less than expected. This suggests that the Japanese consumer electronics giant plans to cut an aggressive path in mobile entertainment, a fast-growing market carved up by cellphones, music players and a cacophony of souped-up devices that deliver digital movies and music in pocket- size packages.
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MUSICIANS & FILE-SHARING NETWORK
Streamcast Networks Inc., the Woodland Hills company behind Morpheus, has modified its file-sharing software so that users can search specifically for MP3 files bearing a Creative Commons license.
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GARRY MARSHALL & HECTOR ELIZONDO
Friends for 24 years, Elizondo and Marshall speak in a sort of shorthand. On this day, Marshall makes a few suggestions mainly about blocking to his small cast. The mood is light. As someone's cellphone rings, Marshall calls out, "Maybe that's Tom Cruise calling for an interview."
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FEDEX/KINKO VS. UPS/MAIL BOX ETC.
The owners of the old Kinko's and Mail Boxes Etc. stores see retail as a key to sustained growth.
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PLACES TO JAM
Guess who's coming to jam? When talented rockers mix it up on club stages, it can be a magical treat for fans and performers.
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