China’s patience with North Korea wearing thin
Associated Press via Google News
China’s patience with North Korea is wearing thin, and a widely-expected nuclear test by the latter could bring that frustration to a head.
Beijing signaled its growing unhappiness by agreeing to tightened U.N. sanctions after North Korea launched a rocket in December, surprising China watchers with its unusually tough line, which prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang.
And while China isn’t expected to abandon its communist neighbor, it appears to be reassessing ties a year after new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took office. The question is for how long China, itself under new leader Xi Jinping, will continue to back North Korea’s nettlesome policies.
South Korea’s path to internet mastery
The National (United Arab Emirates)
Less than two decades ago, just a small number of South Koreans had access to the internet, in stark contrast to the current situation where almost all of them enjoy the fruits of the Web.
Even in 1998, the number of internet users was only seven per 100 people. South Korea lagged behind other countries in ratings by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of computer ownership and internet usage, implying Koreans had low levels of information utilisation skills.
The government recognised this as a major modernisation challenge as the world leading economies, such as the United States and Japan, were in the forefront of developing their information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. Numerous reports pointed to ICT as a crucial driving force for economic growth.
Brazil Carnival honors South Korea, Korean immigrants
AFP via Global Post
With samba music and allegorical pageantry, the Brazilian Carnival pays glowing tribute this year to South Korea’s ancient culture and technological prowess, and to 50 years of Korean immigration.
Friday, South Korean popstar Psy was a star guest at Carnival celebrations in the northeastern city of Salvador, wowing the crowd with his “Gangnam Style” hit that made Internet history last December by clocking more than one billion views on YouTube.
Book review: ‘Radical: Fighting to Put Students First’ by Michelle Rhee
Jennifer Howard, a former contributing editor of Book World, is a senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
If you are, have been or might soon be the parent of a school-age child in Washington,you have an opinion about Michelle Rhee, who ran the city’s public schools from 2007 to 2010. In a town full of divisive personalities, Rhee polarized opinion more than any other public figure I can remember, with the exception of a handful of officials. (Here’s looking at you, Marion Barry.) Either you admire her do-whatever-it-takes attempts to overhaul a system that had become a national embarrassment, or you loathe her as a power-mad, union-busting, school-closing dictator who trampled over teachers, parents and public servants.
I’m a Washingtonian with school-age children who are not currently enrolled in D.C. Public Schools. I watched, closely but from the sidelines, as Rhee set about the overhaul she describes in “Radical.” Her supporters and detractors could probably agree on one word to describe her: formidable. There’s no whiff of regret in “Radical.” By her reckoning, Rhee came in to do a difficult and politically dangerous job, and she did it the way she thought it needed to be done. Once she couldn’t do it effectively anymore, she moved on to bring her message of “radical improvement” to the national stage.
‘Walking Dead’: Steven Yeun’s Glenn is beating heart of AMC series
Los Angeles Times
Yeun’s amiable nature is familiar to fans of AMC’s hit zombie series. As Glenn Rhee, he functions as a likable everyman, the closest thing to a romantic hero in an unrelentingly brutal apocalyptic world.
“Steven is the heart of the show,” said Glen Mazzara, the “Walking Dead” executive producer who’s set to leave the series at the end of this season. “Everybody loves that character; everybody’s rooting for that character. He may be tortured and sensitive, but he’s always a hero.”
Chan-wook Park has a lot riding on blood-filled ‘Stoker’
Los Angeles Times
In a high-tech bungalow on a back corner of the 20th Century Fox lot, the South Korean auteur Chan-wook Park is chiseling his opus as the clock ticks toward 9 p.m.
Park, the toast of Asian cinema and hero to hordes of genre-film enthusiasts, is editing “Stoker,” a coming-of-age Gothic thriller starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman. It’s his first film in the U.S. and first in English. For hard-core fans of the director’s blood-spattered Korean work — including “Oldboy,” the 2004 Cannes Grand Prix winner being remade by Spike Lee — his arrival on the shores might be compared, with less exaggeration than you may think, to the landing of the Beatles.
Shin-Soo Choo on center field: I’ll try
Shin-Soo Choo admits moving to center field is a process.
“I’m not comfortable there yet,” he said. “At the major league level, I played 99 percent of my games in right field. I’ll try. I’ll work on it this spring training. We’ll see how they’re thinking. If they’re not (happy), somebody else will be playing in center field.
“I’ll try the best I can.”
Wie, Webb and Ko headline class field
Canberra Times (Australia)
Fading star Michelle Wie will become a “wasted talent” if she can’t succeed this year, New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko has the all-round game to avoid the same pitfalls and become a future champion, while legend Karrie Webb is the woman to beat.
That’s the opinion of former Australian Open champion and ABC commentator Jane Crafter ahead of the Australian Women’s Golf Open, at Royal Canberra from February 14-17.
Think Young, Play Hard: Lydia Ko
ON WINNING THE LPGA TOUR’S CN CANADIAN WOMEN’S OPEN AT AGE 15
I’m not sure it has sunk in–even now. In the moment I didn’t think it was that amazing. The experience to me was just putting together one good round after another. But when I saw it on paper, my name as the champion, I thought Wow, this is really what I’ve done.
ON BEING A TEENAGER
My three best friends don’t really know what I’ve done on the course. It doesn’t matter to them. Two of them live in Korea, so we stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. We talk about Korean TV and hip-hop music. My favorite right now is the group BigBang. It has good-looking guys.
K.J. Choi wins award for charitable service
K.J. Choi, who has supported relief efforts worldwide as well as programs to help Korean communities, was named recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America’s (GWAA) Charlie Bartlett Award on Wednesday.
The award, named for the first secretary of the GWAA, is given to a professional golfer for contributions to the betterment of society.
“Although I feel that I haven’t done that much, I am honored to be recognized for my actions,” Choi, who will be honored at an awards dinner in Augusta, Georgia, the week of the Masters, said in a statement.
Why Do Koreans Eat So Much Kimchi?
Kimchi is Korea’s representative food. It’s delicious, healthy and it goes good with everything. And Koreans eat it pretty much everyday, for pretty much every meal. It can’t be THAT good can it?! Find out why Koreans eat so much kimchi!
In addition to being super healthy and uber delicious, kimchi goes perfect with all Korean food. And pretty much 99% of the Korean population eats it pretty much everyday at every meal. That’s because Koreans need that fresh feeling in their mouth. No joking… they NEED it! So even if they’re not eating Korean food, non-Korean restaurants in Korea will serve SOMETHING that will give that fresh feeling (i.e. pickles, pickled radish, etc.).
Clues to timing of NKorea nuclear test seen in US holidays, Kim family dates, South’s politics
AP via Washington Post
So when will it be?
North Korea vowed last month to carry out its third nuclear test but has said nothing about timing. As a result, the building suspense in Seoul has prompted many to look at the dates Pyongyang has chosen for past atomic tests, as well as rocket and missile launches.
Dates and numbers have great symbolic importance to North Korea’s government. So Pyongyang often schedules what Washington calls “provocative acts” around U.S. holidays and important South Korean political events, an effort to send none-too-subtle messages to its main enemies — Washington and Seoul. Pyongyang also uses the tests to give a nationalistic boost to its citizens, often favoring significant milestones of the state, party and ruling Kim family.
South Korean public opinion as Park Geun-hye takes office
The Peterson Institute for International Economics
The South Korean public regards “economic growth” as the top priority for the incoming Park Geun-hye government according to two recent polls. I recently received a short report from the TNS office in Seoul summarizing South Korean public opinion on a variety of issues, and comparing those views to those found five years ago as Lee Myung-bak came into office.
With regard to North-South relations, the delinkage of politics and humanitarian aid continues to have strong support in South Korea. According to a Dong-a Ilbo poll two-thirds of the public support a continuance of humanitarian aid “regardless of the political situation.”
In Propaganda Video, Only North Korea Sleeps Easy
New York Times
North Korea is not known for its subtlety, famous instead for its soaring patriotic rhetoric and threats to turn the capital of its rival, South Korea, into a “sea of fire.”
But even by those standards, the latest volley of North Korea propaganda is noteworthy. Posted recently on YouTube, a video by one of the North’s propaganda agencies shows an animated version of Manhattan in flames — part of a dream in which a young Korean man envisions a glorious future of rocket launchings and the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. The background music to the scenes of launchings and destruction: an instrumental version of “We Are the World.”
How much disparity is there among Asian Americans? Plenty
Southern California Public Radio
The details in a newly issued report on the disparities within California’s Asian American population are an eye-opening antidote to the “model minority” myth. They depict a diverse population that’s deeply divided along lines of social class, educational attainment, language and more.
Based on census and other federal data, the report from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center tracks Asians Americans in several regions including Southern California, home to the largest population of Asian Americans in the state.
A few basics: As it’s been reported lately, immigration from Asian countries to California now exceeds that from Latin America. Accordingly, the state’s general Asian and Pacific Islander population has been on the rise. Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian American population of California grew 34 percent, followed by its Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population at 29 percent. Both surpassed the growth of the Latino population.
Asian American Women Over 65 Are More Likely to Commit Suicide Than Anyone Else, Study Finds
While talking about suicide in the United States may bring to mind high-profile cases like the tragic and untimely death of Aaron Schwartz, it turns out that the demographic most likely to end their lives is not who you might expect. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published their findings from 2004 and 2007 that Asian American women ages 65 and older have the highest suicide rate than any other racial group at 6.5 per 100,000. Another finding from the CDC states that Asian Americans 18 years and older have the second highest percentage of individuals dealing with serious psychological disorder at 1.9%.
So what does all this mean?
Students push for Korean Studies
Yale Daily News (Yale Univ.)
A group of students has been working since September 2012 to raise awareness of the lack of a major in Korean studies at Yale — but students have undertaken similar efforts for at least the last decade.
The Council on East Asian Studies currently allows undergraduate EAS majors to concentrate in Chinese or Japanese studies but offers no concentration in Korean studies. Though former CEAS chair Mimi Yiengpruksawan told the News in 2002 that the council hoped to set up the Korean studies track by the fall of 2003, the council has struggled to establish the concentration for at least the past decade due to insufficient resources. A newly formed student group, called the Korean Studies Initiative at Yale, has gathered over 200 signatures on a petition released to students online Jan. 29 to urge the University to invest the teaching resources necessary for the program’s establishment.
Korean plastic surgeon shares his views on industry regulations
South China Morning Post
As the debate over how to regulate the beauty industry rages on in Hong Kong, a top plastic surgeon from South Korea was recently invited by Chinese University’s faculty of medicine to share his experiences on industry regulations with local doctors.
Dr Hong Joon-pio, director of the plastic surgery department at the ASAN Medical Centre in Seoul, says the cosmetic surgery industry is largely regulated by market forces in South Korea. “The way we achieve excellence is through competition and cutting-edge surgeries,” he says. “In Korea, plastic surgeons never want a monopoly. It’s never an issue. The plastic surgery market is so busy that they don’t have time for that [kind of] discussion.”
Westlake Village’s Danielle Kang better prepared for second season on LPGA Tour
Ventura County Star (Calif.)
Midway through her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, Danielle Kang had a heart-to-heart chat with her longtime swing coach Brady Riggs.
The Westlake Village resident had just missed back-to-back cuts.
“When I got on the LPGA Tour, I hyped it up in my mind so much that I was putting more pressure on myself than needed to be,” Kang said. “I was thinking too much and feeling like every shot needed to be perfect. When I was having success as an amateur golfer I just went out, got my yardage and hit my shot. So Brady told me to forget all the stuff I had been thinking about and just go back to hitting shots and having fun.”
Croatia outclass South Korea in London friendly
Reuters via Yahoo Sports
An inspired Croatia swept past South Korea 4-0 in a friendly played at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on Wednesday to help build confidence ahead of a politically-charged World Cup qualifier next month against Balkan arch-rivals Serbia.
Pyeongchang Special Olympics Signs off on a High Note
The 2013 Pyeongchang Special Olympics World Winter Games wrapped up on Tuesday after a week of inspiring competition that drew almost 200,000 spectators to venues in Pyeongchang and Gangneung from Jan. 29.
The Games featured 1,989 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 106 countries, who pushed themselves to the limit and communicated with the rest of the world through sport. Numerous celebrities also participated to support the athletes, including Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and former NBA All-Star Yao Ming.
Sock Designer Finds Niche Market with Creative Idea
Hamstrung by the huge financial cost of setting up her own clothing brand, designer Hong Jung-mi came up with the novel idea of making fun and colorful socks and selling them in a vending machine on a busy shopping street. That soon made her name.
Hong worked at a woman’s clothing company for five years after majoring in fashion design but quit to build her own brand. After much deliberation, she chose to focus on making socks which required less of an investment. Her first move was to take a menial job running errands at a local sock-knitting factory to learn the ropes for six months.
Hong was keen to open a shop but again had to curtail her ambitions because of the expensive rent, which led her to consider launching an online store as well as a vending machine.
A foster dog’s journey from South Korea to Seattle
It’s a miracle that she’s here. Animal Rescue Korea posted a notice about her on the Web. They sent an email out to dog rescue groups in the U.S. about her plight. One responded, Mercer Island Eastside Orphans and Waifs (aka MEOW). Volunteers in Korea raised the money to put her on an a plane to Seattle, and the Mercer Island rescue picked her up on Monday night at Sea-Tac. (Here’s a Youtube video of Peach getting picked up at the airport by Kelly Starbuck, the Mercer Island rescue organizer. The video is set to Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America.”)
Eric’s Top 10 Seoul Cafe Recommendations
1.) Piano Cafe (피아노 카페)
The first place on the list that I would like to recommend is the Piano Cafe located in Hongdae, a refuge for coffee purists and music lovers. This is my favorite cafe since I ever started coming here. The piano cafe is housed on a hill in the western area of Hongdae and its elegant yet all-embracing interior is full of submissive of wood tones and bright, colorful contrasting details. This cafe brings a perfect fit for the neighborhood with it’s Hongdae-hipster vibe, but let’s not forget about the main intention of this cafe: the reason why this is my personal favorite cafe is because of, well… the piano. Visitors are welcomed to play the piano here in the cafe and show off their piano skills; but if there is no piano player, you will be left with the radio, playing quiet tunes of jazz music accustomed to the seasons of Korea. Behind all that, you get a full array of hand-dripped coffee at a reasonable price If you love the aura of a Mozart-esque atmosphere of a cafe, you will love this cafe as much as I do. If you ever do stop by this cafe, who knows, you might get the chance and see me playing the piano there.
For South Koreans, a familiar tone from Pyongyang
As a child, Lee Yoon Jung used to hide underground with her classmates when the sirens rang at her school. The emergency drills were held in case of a North Korean attack.
Lee, now 46, has children of her own, who do not have such exercises at their schools in Ulsan, South Korea.
It represents the attitude shift over recent decades of tension between the two Koreas. South Koreans have become accustomed to living next to their northern neighbor, which often releases bellicose statements and calls it a “group of puppet traitors.”
U.S. May Have Trouble Gauging North Korean Nuclear Test
New York Times
Even if North Korea follows through with its threat to conduct a third nuclear test, Washington and its allies will have difficulty determining whether the device detonated is made of plutonium or uranium, a prominent American nuclear scientist and South Korean officials said on Tuesday.
Whether North Korea will set off a uranium bomb is a question high on the minds of policy makers and analysts in Northeast Asia. A failure to answer it would complicate their efforts to assess North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities.
U.N. urged to probe North Korean leaders’ role in abuses
Reuters via Yahoo News
North Korea’s leaders are likely to be the target of a U.N. investigation into their personal responsibility for rapes, torture, executions, arbitrary arrests and abductions, following an expert report published on Tuesday.
The report by Marzuki Darusman, an Indonesian lawyer who is the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, said North Korea’s “grave, systematic and widespread” human rights violations ought to be laid bare before the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. General Assembly.
More diversity among Asian Americans than meets the myth
Southern California Public Radio
Many observers regard Asian Americans as the nation’s most successful immigrants. But a new report details how the nation’s fastest-growing racial group is far more diverse a population, socioeconomically and otherwise, than “model minority” myths might indicate.
The stereotype of a generally well-educated, well-paid group doesn’t play out in the report by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a civil rights and legal organization in Los Angeles.
While some Asian American groups in Southern California do earn more than non-Latino whites, the study also found that some groups, such as Cambodians, Bangladeshis and Tongans, tend to earn less than blacks and Latinos. And Korean Americans in the region, for example, are as just as likely as Latinos to lack medical insurance.
Big Korean Business Dominates Super Bowl Ads
Big Korean companies flashed their growing global presence with their Super Bowl ads on Sunday.
A total of 37 companies from around the world invested US$300 million in TV commercials during the Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday.
Korean giants like Samsung, Hyundai and Kia all paid a massive share.
Jon Stewart tests Michelle Rhee, defends teachers
Jon Stewart invited Michelle Rhee on “The Daily Show” Monday night and, while he didn’t skewer her the way some Rhee critics would have liked, he kept challenging her about whether her brand of school reform unfairly targets teachers. He also said something that Rhee and other reformers could take to be something of a slap: that there has been “no real innovation in education since John Dewey.”
See the video here.
L.A. CHEF SANG YOON GOES FOR PIG’S BLOOD SOUP AT RUEN PAIR
Sang Yoon, the chef behind L.A.’s Father’s Office (and its world-famous burger), avant Asian bistro Lukshon and the forthcoming Helms Bakery, a project that sees the chef partnering with Sherry Yard (pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck) to re-open the classic L.A. institution that closed in the late 60s and turn it into a “bakery/cafe rooted in the old Americana,” Yoon tells us. Read on for his late-night picks.
Where’s your favorite place to go in L.A. for a late-night bite after you leave the kitchen?
The thing about L.A., especially the West Side of L.A., is that it’s not really known as a late-night town. But luckily, we have an amazing Koreatown and Thaitown so between the two — which are in the middle of the city — you have a lot of late-night options. In the Thai neighborhood there’s a place called Ruen Pair. It’s very popular amongst the Thai population — it’s quite authentic. [It's also] a favorite among chefs. I know several guys who end up over there and I think they’re open til at least 3 or 4 in the morning.
Crayon Pop Subvert Sexy Stereotypes
Stereotypical and over-abundant may be appropriate words to describe the current crop of K-pop singers. There are so many generic bands with similar looks that it is difficult to distinguish one from another.
But Crayon Pop defy such stereotypes by thumbing their nose at sexy girl bands and they are far from the cookie-cutter mold.
On anniversary of Linsanity craze, Jeremy Lin spends day nursing sprained ankle with Houston Rockets
New York Daily News
Lin was on the verge of being cut by the Knicks last Feb. 4 when then-coach Mike D’Antoni inserted him off the end of the bench for a 25-point outburst to lead the Knicks to a victory over the Nets, igniting a season-saving seven-game winning streak.
South Korean teenager youngest player in field
Monterey County Herald
South Korean teenager Si Woo Kim simply cannot believe that it’s all happening. Back in December, the 17-year-old’s wild ride first began when he became the youngest player to ever earn his PGA Tour card at what was the final Q-School where players could advance directly to the tour.
Kim made it through all four stages of Q-School, including pre-qualifying in September.
A few weeks ago, Kim’s good fortune continued when he got a call from Monterey Peninsula Foundation CEO Steve John, telling him that he’d be getting a sponsor’s exemption to play in this week’s AT&T Pro-Am.
Movement of Missiles by North Korea Worries U.S.
New York Times
The discovery by American intelligence agencies that North Korea is moving mobile missile launchers around the country, some carrying a new generation of powerful rocket, has spurred new assessments of the intentions of the country’s young new leader, Kim Jong-un, who has talked about economic change but appears to be accelerating the country’s ability to attack American allies or forces in Asia, and ultimately to strike across the Pacific.
The new mobile missile, called the KN-08, has not yet been operationally deployed, and American officials say it may not be ready for some time. But the discovery that the mobile units have already been dispersed around the country, where they can be easily hidden, has prompted the White House, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies to reassess whether North Korea’s missile capabilities are improving at a pace that poses a new challenge to American defenses.
U.S., China in tentative U.N. deal on North Korea resolution: envoys
The United States and China have struck a tentative deal on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea for its December rocket launch, though Beijing has yet to give its final approval, U.N. diplomats said on Friday.
The resolution would not impose new sanctions, but would call for expanding existing U.N. sanctions measures against Pyongyang, the envoys said on condition of anonymity.
Two North Koreans Killed for Christian Faith
Two North Korean Christians have been killed because of their faith, a global watchgroup revealed of the latest persecution cases to come out of the oppressive Pacific nation.
Opens Doors USA confirmed the deaths of the two Christians, revealing that one was shot while he was leaving for Bible training in China, and that another one died in a labor camp in North Korea.
Half of Asian Americans rely on ethnic media: poll
AFP via Google News
Around half of Asian Americans relied on ethnic media for news during the last election in which the growing community voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama, a study said Thursday.
Massive support by minorities played a vital role in Obama’s re-election on November 6. Asian Americans made up 3.4 percent of the electorate and could play a greater future role as they form the fastest expanding racial group.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, releasing detailed findings from its exit polls, found that 48 percent of Asian Americans considered ethnic media, led by television, to be their prime news source.
Sob story moves man to help – only he gets conned
KATU.com (Portland, Ore.)
At least four people who cashed checks for a 19-year-old man, trying to do him a favor, say they got stuck with a worthless piece of paper and are out hundreds of dollars in cash.
Adam Wallace was one of those alleged victims and was surprised he may not be the only one.
“I found out there were seven victims and that’s the ones that talked to me,” he said. “And some of them were his close friends – like closer than I was.”
Wallace had reconnected with Paul Byun through the personal ads on Craigslist.
“And he had told me, he gave me the sob story – cuz I had hung out with him for a week – he gave me the sob story that his mom had died in October of ovarian cancer and that his father drained the bank account and went to Korea,” Wallace said.
E.Land to Pay $170 Million for K-Swiss Shoes to Add Brands
E.Land World Ltd., a South Korean apparel distributor, agreed to pay about $170 million for K- Swiss Inc. (KSWS) to add the money-losing U.S.-based athletic shoemaker’s brands to its portfolio.
K-Swiss stockholders will receive $4.75 in cash per share, 49 percent more than yesterday’s closing price on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the Westlake Village, California-based shoemaker and E-Land said yesterday in a statement.
K-Swiss sales have dropped by about 50 percent since 2005 and the shares have plunged 91 percent from the 2006 high as the shoemaker’s all-white casual sneakers fell out of fashion and the company failed to take advantage of growth in athletic footwear demand. Revenue in the 12 months through September was $231.3 million, compared with $508.6 million in calendar 2005. Net losses from 2009, 2010 and 2011 totaled more than $160 million.
Man Found Dead 7 Years After Apparent Suicide
The skeletal remains of a 55-year-old man were found in the boiler room of his home in Busan on Wednesday, where they had been decomposing for seven years.
The corpse was found by the man’s landlord, who was trying to locate a cracked heating pipe. The landlord said the head was found away from the body.
Police later discovered strands of the man’s hair stuck to an electrical wire. Judging by the fact that there were no signs of forced entry, they believe he committed suicide.
Margaret Cho Talks About Being Seen as a Smothering Mother to the Planet (Interview, Part Two)
In part one of our interview with comedian and musician Margaret Cho, we probed her about the Grammy award winning album Cho Dependent and she told us about her knee tattoos of presidents Lincoln and Washington.
In this second part, she talks about being seen as a mother figure, her own mom, her favorite television mama, and her newest stand up show, apt titled, Mother.
Dia in the house
New Straits Times (Malaysia)
THE Voice Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton has been a busy little bee having spent most of last year touring to promote her debut album Red.
Apart from a six-month solo US tour, Frampton was also the supporting act for alt-rock band The Fray and the opening act for her coach on The Voice, country star Blake Shelton during his Well Lit & Amplified tour.
“I feel very lucky to have worked with Blake, he’s such a great person and one of the best performers I’ve ever seen,” she says when met at the Universal Music office before her maiden performance in KL recently.
Benson Henderson Knows Gilbert Melendez Will Be Hungry for His First UFC Fight
MMA Weekly via Yahoo Sports
For the second time in a row, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will headline a UFC on Fox card, this time facing Strikeforce titleholder Gilbert Melendez.
Henderson fought at UFC on Fox 5 in early December and pulled off a dominant five-round decision over Nate Diaz to mark his third win in 2012.
Now as he looks to continue his reign atop the division in 2013, Henderson starts the year with a challenge of champion against champion as Melendez moves over to the UFC after spending the last few years as the king of Strikeforce.
Worcester Surgeon And 2011 Fan Of The Year Spreads Love Of Pats Around World
Did you hear the one about the surgeon, who traveled the world, helping heal kids?
Except on Sundays, when the Patriots were playing at home. True.
Dr. David Kim is a plastic surgeon, and often travels to third-world countries to operate on kids with deformities. And when the surgery is done, his patients not only have new hands or repaired faces, they also have Patriots jerseys or t-shirts.
“They have no idea about American football, so I’m compelled to spread the word about Patriots Nation,” Kim said.
Choi enjoys success, ‘can’t stop’ giving back
When Na Yeon Choi was a rookie on the LPGA, she spoke so little English that she and her parents often ate at fast food restaurants because the combo meals were numbered.
One of the few times they ventured out to a nicer establishment, Choi’s father ordered for the family by walking the waiter over to a nearby table and pointing to the plates of other patrons.
Rookie Hahn shares 18-hole lead at Humana
James Hahn always kept the dream alive, even when he was working part-time at an ad agency and selling women’s shoes at Nordstrom. It’s what makes days like Thursday all the more gratifying.
In only his second career PGA Tour start, the 31-year-old rookie shot a 9-under 63 on the Palmer Course at PGA West to grab a share of the early lead at the Humana Challenge.
“I don’t ever take a day like this for granted,” Hahn said. “I remind myself every time I have a hard day that we have bad rounds and bad days and we miss cuts. We feel like the world is falling down, tearing apart.
Golfer of the Year: ALICE JEONG, North Torrance
Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.)
Throughout her high school golf career, North Torrance’s Alice Jeong had established herself as a rising star.
It seemed to all lead to her remarkable senior season.
Jeong sparked North to a share of its first Ocean League team title, then began a sparkling individual CIF postseason run that culminated with a sixth-place state medal.
The Cal-bound Jeong earned the 2012 Daily Breeze Girls Golfer of the Year.
Your destiny may all be written on your face
Like many young South Koreans, Ko Joo-hyun is anxious about her future. She will be graduating from college soon, and she wonders what kind of job she will end up in and when she will get married. Like many others struggling to get or stay ahead in a society that moves quickly, questions about her future are a source of stress, and to help address them, she will consult a fortuneteller that offers a range of services — including face reading.
Face reading is an old practice where a trained expert assesses the contours of one’s face, and the size and shape of the chin, forehead and cheekbones in order to glean insight into one’s character and prospects for the future.
Google’s Schmidt urges N. Korea to embrace Web
Google’s Eric Schmidt wrapped up a controversial trip to North Korea on Thursday during which he urged the isolated state to embrace the Internet or face further economic decline.
U.S. to send team of ranking officials to S. Korea, Japan next week
The Barack Obama administration is dispatching an inter-agency team of senior officials next week to South Korea and Japan for consultations with the allies as the two nations deal with power transitions.
Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, is scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Tuesday for a two-day stay, according to his department.
He will go there with Mark Lippert, the assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, and Daniel Russel, the national security council senior director for Asian affairs, the department said.
Hanmi Said to Seek Sale
Hanmi Financial Corp. (HAFC), the second- largest U.S. bank catering to Korean-Americans, is looking for a buyer and hired DelMorgan & Co. to advise on a sale, said three people with knowledge of the matter.
The lender may attract interest from BBCN Bancorp Inc. (BBCN) and Wilshire Bancorp Inc. (WIBC), which like Hanmi are based in Los Angeles and target Korean-Americans, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Hanmi rose more than 8 percent today, giving the firm a market value of about $481 million. It has assets of about $2.8 billion.
At the Front Line of Suicide Prevention in South Korea
Wall Street Journal
Ha Kyoo-seob, president of Seoul National Hospital, has a side job trying to tackle one of South Korea’s biggest social problems as immediate past president of the Korea Association for Suicide Prevention.
He made news earlier this week when, following the latest suicide of a South Korean celebrity, he showed up unannounced in front of the press corps at the Ministry of Health and Welfare and said media sensationalism of such deaths wasn’t helping the nation’s crisis. He laid out data from several studies that showed how the number suicides rise in the wake of a celebrity’s death.
Newspaper editorials followed, but it’s unclear that his warning will forestall another round of gruesome, detailed reporting the next time a celebrity commits suicide.
Tackling South Korea’s suicide rate
Australia Network News
Mental health experts have called for a major shift in the way mental illness is tackled in South Korea, where the suicide rate remains the highest in the developed world.
Boyfriend ‘strangled pretty South Korean student he met at church after row over hair she left in the plug hole’
The Daily Mail (U.K.)
A 27-year-old man killed his South Korean girlfriend whom he had met at a church after a ‘petty quarrel about hair being found down the plug hole’, a court heard today.
Daniel Jones allegedly murdered Da In Lee, 22, on Easter Sunday last year and attempted to hide the body under a duvet at his flat in Tipton, West Midlands, before fleeing to Bristol.
Jones admitted to his ex-partner that he had killed Miss Lee, who studied international relations and sociology at Aston University in Birmingham, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
Korean Chef Dreams of Global Chain
Akira Back, touted as one of the top chefs in Las Vegas, has a wide following among politicians and celebrities such as Bill Clinton and Paris Hilton. He was recently nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards, often called the “food Oscars” and named a “rising star” by American magazine Restaurant Hospitality.
Back is the head chef of the prestigious Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. He said he is constantly sketching and dreaming up news dishes which are delicious and look great. He said his philosophy is to awaken customers to their sense of taste.
Kim Yuna should be favorite to win world championships
Kim Yu-na officially qualified for the world championships, not that there was any doubt. The reigning Olympic champion won the South Korean nationals on Sunday, which was just her second competition after almost two years off. Kim fell in her short program but still posted a higher total score (210.77 points) than in her first outing back in December (201.61).
The Korea Skating Union charged admission to its national championships for the first time (not coincidentally, it was Kim’s first appearance there as a senior), and all 4,800 tickets were snatched within minutes of going on sale, according to Yonhap News.
She’s certainly not at her world-record best from the Vancouver Games (228.56), but Kim, 22, and her “Les Miserables” free skate should be favored for gold at worlds in London, Ontario, come March.
So you fancy John Huh?
John Huh could buck the trends and win this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii according to our expert Ben Coley.
Samsung, LG Unveil Curved OLED TVs
Samsung and LG both unveiled innovative curved-display OLED TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. They kept the new products under tight wraps until the launch.
The wide displays are concavely curved five or six degrees, which endures less screen distortion and has a similar effect to an IMAX screen, the two firms claim.
The unveiling was shrouded in secrecy. Samsung put its TV up and distributed a press release only 30 minutes before the opening of the show.
The Movies of Kim Jong Il, Now Available Via Bootlegs and YouTube
When he died in December 2011, Kim Jong Il left behind more than a dynastic regime and a closet full of drab pantsuits. Kim, who ruled the hermetic North Korea from 1994, when his father, Kim Il Sung, died until his own passing 17 years later, was a noted cinephile and something of a mogul. Films and film theory were hobbies of his, and as the whims of dictators tend to harden into real-world realities, Kim made the leap few less-connected dilettantes ever do: He got movies made — even if he apparently had to kidnap a great director to shoot them.
These films have rarely been screened outside North Korea. But thanks to bootleggers and YouTube, at least three now are readily available for your viewing.