A South Korean woman who recently moved to Kenya from Dubai was among the scores of people killed in the shocking terrorist attack on an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Yonhap News reported that the woman, said to be in her 40s, died at a local hospital as a result of gunshot wounds as well as shrapnel from a grenade.
Her husband, a British national, was also wounded and is currently in stable condition at a local hospital. The couple married five years ago and recently moved to Nairobi from Dubai, according to Seoul’s foreign ministry. Continue Reading »
Former reality TV star and media punching bag Jon Gosselin is now living a simpler life as a waiter at a restaurant in a small Pennsylvania town and says he has no regrets.
The former patriarch on the reality TV show Jon & Kate Plus 8 was shown waiting tables at a Beckersville, Pa., restaurant called Black Dog and told Entertainment Tonight it was “next to nearly impossible” to find work. Gosselin worked as an IT analyst before striking reality TV gold with since-divorced wife Kate Gosselin and their eight kids.
“At first I was nervous because I was like, ‘How are people going to react?’” Gosselin told ET. “But then I’m thinking, ‘Well it’s fun and I get to talk to people.’ And they technically already know me…they’re like ‘Are you the guy?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m the guy.’” Continue Reading »
It was the moment many reality TV fans were waiting for.
The young, blonde and racist Big Brother contestant Aaryn Gries finally received the news that she was dropped from her modeling agency due to her racist comments and she reacted with a familiar emotion: denial.
Yahoo OMG Insider host Michael Yo, who is black and Korean, thought Gries knew about her termination from Texas-based Zephyr Talent and asked her what her reaction was to being fired. Gries was visibly shocked by the news and confused.
“Lost my job? I haven’t lost any jobs,” she insisted. “I don’t think I necessarily believe that.” Continue Reading »
Pyongyang Orders Diplomats’ Children Home
Wall Street Journal
Worried about possible threats to regime stability from North Korean children educated abroad, Pyongyang has ordered its diplomats and state trading company officials stationed overseas to send their children back to the North, an expert on the secretive regime says.
Kansai University Prof. Lee Young Hwa said the order was the first of its kind passed under the North’s young leader Kim Jong Un, according to information he received from a North Korean trading official in China. The order, with a deadline set for the end of September, allows only one child per household to stay with each official abroad.
The order apparently stems from Pyongyang’s concern that children receiving an overseas education could undermine stability by spreading information about the outside world, or defecting.
S. Korean advance party heads to N. Korea ahead of family reunions
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
A group of Red Cross officials crossed the border into North Korea Friday to arrange accommodation for South Korean families scheduled to meet with their long-lost relatives in the communist country next week.
The advance party of about a dozen South Korean Red Cross officials entered North Korea via the border office on the east coast and headed to the venue of the temporary family reunions at the Mount Kumgang resort.
The reunions, scheduled for Sept. 25-30, are expected to bring together more than 90 South Koreans and their family members in the North who they were separated from in the 1950-53 Korean War.
Korean Texas Baptist verifies relief delivery
A Korean Texas Baptist traveled to North Korea this summer to verify delivery of donated medical equipment and 60 tons of corn.
Orphanages, schools and a hospital will receive noodles made from a corn delivery through the Korean-American Sharing Movement of Dallas.
Yoo Jong Yoon—director of the Korean-American Sharing Movement of Dallas and former Korean mission field consultant with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship—has traveled to North Korea about two dozen times since 1996, often supervising delivery of corn and other food supplies provided by Texas Baptist Men and other donors.
Carnivals, cranes and a merry-go-round built to look like a ballistic missile: New pictures show eerily empty streets of North Korea
Daily Mail (U.K.)
These are the latest photographs of the insular country taken by David Guttenfelder, an Associated Press photographer who has enjoyed unusual access inside North Korea.
Vastly different from the stage managed mass events which are usually seen in pictures released by North Korea’s own state-run press, the cityscapes they show are curiously deserted, with little indication as to why save for the possibility that most of the country’s population are undoubtedly hard at work.
Elsewhere, a woman is pictured walking past the outer shell of a construction site. Above it looms a propaganda billboard depicting the launch of North Korean rockets.
South Korea takes hard line with Tokyo as relations sour
South China Morning Post
Japan says its seafood is safe, South Korea imposes a ban because of fears of nuclear contamination. Japan seeks world heritage status for wartime buildings, South Korea declares the moves insensitive. Scholars revisit Japan’s colonial rule of Korea in a textbook, and South Korean critics demand it be edited so as not to glorify Japanese domination.
The already strained ties between Japan and South Korea are coming under additional stresses as the two governments exchange new accusations over a series of old arguments.
Seoul is being visibly more forceful in its dealings with Tokyo, a legacy of the arrival of the conservative administration Park Geun-hye, elected president in January, but coming up against an equally conservative government in Japan.
Koreans Press Japan Firms on War Claims
Wall Street Journal (subscription req’d)
Yeo Woon-taek, a South Korean sent to work in a steel mill in Japan during World War II, hopes for the day when the Japanese company he worked for pays him for his labor—before he takes his final breath.
That day of compensation could finally be near for him and other elderly surviving laborers of that time.
Nearly seven decades after Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula ended, South Korean courts are handing victims of forced labor like Mr. Yeo, 90 years old, their first legal victories and threatening to open a Pandora’s box of wartime-era troubles for Japanese companies.
The rulings could also provide a new irritant for Seoul-Tokyo ties, which have turned frostier since last year over disagreements on other historical and territorial issues.
U.S. May Return Korean Royal Seal
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. may return another Korean national treasure to its home country, marking a potential victory for South Korean activists working for the repatriation of cultural heritage lost during the Korean War.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art said Friday that it has found sufficient evidence to believe the turtle-shaped Korean royal seal that dates from the late 16th or 17th century was “illegally removed” from its original site in South Korea.
South Korea has maintained some soldiers looted national treasures during the 1950-1953 Korean War, including the seal that was originally ensconced at the Jongmyo royal shrine in Seoul.
Corner Life: For decades, Korean-American storeowners have faced struggles in Baltimore City. They still do.
Twenty years ago this month, Joel Lee, a 21-year-old Korean-American beginning his senior year at then-Towson State University, was robbed, shot in the face, and killed while heading to a classmate’s home in Northeast Baltimore. “He wanted to borrow a computer-science book because he was determined to get his grades even higher this year,” his friend, Folashayo Babalola, told The Baltimore Sun after the September 1993 murder. “Joel was very quiet, very ambitious,” Babalola continued. “This has really shaken me. . . . ” The brutal slaying also shook Baltimore’s Korean-American community, whose leaders still recall the tragedy. Already feeling under siege following attacks directed at Korean-American merchants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Lee case and trial was followed closely in the city. The acquittal of the accused two years later by an almost all African-African jury spurred a protest march downtown and appeared to reflect a troubled relationship between the Korean-American community and traditionally African-American neighborhoods where many of their businesses were located.
(It wasn’t only in Baltimore where relationships between Korean-American merchants and the African-American community were overheating. A year before Lee’s murder, in Los Angeles, Korean store owners were caught in the middle of rioting following the acquittal of white police officers in the beating of Rodney King. In New York, there had been Korean-American store boycotts.)
In Baltimore, there was also a boycott of a Korean-American-owned store, which was eventually closed by the Health Department. And there was a contentious debate over the renovation of the Lafayette and Belair Markets, where Korean-immigrant owners felt they were being pushed out by the city.
5 Most Offensive Asian Characters in TV History
Dads, Seth McFarlane’s latest TV comedy endeavor, is about two young, successful video game developers whose embarrassing dads move in with them unexpectedly. Cute, right?
I thought so too, until I watched the extended trailer for the show. Their assistant is told to dress up like a “sexy Asian schoolgirl” to pitch to the Chinese investors, and she tells them that she was “beaten with a textbook until [she] was 16.” Words such as “Oriental” and comments such as “Asian men have small dicks” abound.
Such remarks only serve to perpetuate unneeded Asian stereotypes. It’s taken this long to get Asian characters on television, but they are doing the unnecessary work of promoting negative tropes.
In honor of the racism of Dads, let’s examine some of TV’s worst Asian character portrayals.
G-Dragon: Coup d’Etat [REVIEW]
The Korean pop star Kwon Ji-yong– best known as G-Dragon– is such a force at home that six tracks from his new solo album Coup d’Etat, released earlier this month, have already cracked the country’s top 10. Ji-yong, a national figure since rising to prominence in the enormously popular and quite good Korean boy band Big Bang, has been fleshing out his solo agenda, which so far has seen 2009’s so-so solo debut Heartbreaker and the more exploratory 2012 EP One of a Kind. (Setting up a career trajectory not unlike that of Justin Timberlake, many have noted.) Both sold extremely well– at this point, G-Dragon was pretty much just breaking records set earlier by G-Dragon– but One of a Kind suggested a more frenetic and singular style, best exemplified by the magnificent “Crayon”. That song represented a logical collision of fluorescent, pound-the-alarm EDM, the tomahawk chop chant, and G-Dragon’s referential, sharp rapping; every element throbbed with electricity. But it was an exception, as the quality of his music hasn’t always matched his innovations as a style icon. At the moment, G-Dragon is getting more press for his swag than his sound.
Oh ‘Yeah,’ the band plays on
New York Post
LCD Soundsystem broke up, Interpol is missing in action and The Strokes have gone to seed. The last gang standing from New York’s fabled underground music scene of the early 2000s is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Thursday night, its enduring appeal was on display at Barclays Center. It’s just a shame there weren’t more people there to see it.
The celebratory homecoming looked as if it were about to derail before the band even arrived on stage, due to the fact that the arena was barely half full and eerily quiet. But rather than sulk because not enough people showed up at their party, the trio made a point of filling the silence with opener “Sacrilege” — a standout from the new album “Mosquito.” As they performed the first verse from behind a curtain, the veil slowly lifted to reveal singer Karen O dressed in an eye-popping turquoise and purple outfit. The spectacular ensemble was topped off with a papal hat that glowed with a menacing shade of green, as if she’d stashed some Kryptonite inside it. Whatever she’s paying her stylist, it can’t be enough.
After that fantastic start, the band reverted back to playing some of its earlier, grimier work. “Black Tongue” and the discordant rock ’n’ roll squall of “Art Star” are still the best possible soundtracks to a wild night out in the beer-stained bars of the Lower East Side, but inside the vastness of Barclays, they failed to connect.
Did Julie Chen Get a Nose Job?
The saga of Julie Chen’s face continues. After revealing last week on The Talk that she got plastic surgery to appear less Chinese, because she was advised to do so by her boss and agent, the Big Brother host has now clarified that the work she had done was only on her eyes.
“For the record, I have never had a nose job. I have only had plastic surgery done to my eyes that I’ve already told you about. I do not have cheek implants, I did not take out fat over here to make my cheeks look more [sucks cheeks in, fish-style]. I did not have chin surgery, I did not have a nose job. These [teeth] are not veneers. I’ve not done my teeth. I’ve never even had braces. These are all my real teeth,” she lectured the Talk audience, which exploded into applause because there is acceptable plastic surgery and unacceptable plastic surgery, and getting your eyes made less Chinese-looking is acceptable compared to all of that other stuff.
An artist in Japan is creating some incredible art using an unlikely medium.
Tokyo-based illustrator and artist Takayo Kiyota utilizes makizushi, or “rolled sushi,” similar to Korean kimbap. She uses dyed rice to create different images with the cross section cut of the roll. She says she doesn’t know exactly how the picture will come out and can only rely on visualization and experience.
“I never know what the inside looks like so I’m never sure if it will come out the way I imagined. And I can’t make edits once it’s done,” she wrote on her blog. “Facial expressions are especially difficult because small ingredients or overly exerted force when wrapping can completely throw things off. It’s always a special moment when I make the first incision to reveal the image.” Continue Reading »