D.J. Yoon speaks at a press conference announcing the launch of “Fast 4 Families,” at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He is one of several activists fasting to pressure the government to pass immigration reform.
Fasting for Immigration Reform
There are few gestures as powerful as fasting for a cause, and a group of community organizers, labor leaders and activists are fasting at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., vowing to continue until immigration reform is passed.
by STEVE HAN
Dae Joong “D.J.” Yoon didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving with his children this year. The best he could do was make frequent phone calls to see how they were doing. He was in Washington, D.C., about 2,500 miles away from his home in Torrance, Calif., fasting to pressure the government to pass immigration reform.
“Obviously, my family is worried,” Yoon, the executive director of the nonprofit National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), told KoreAm in a phone interview, which fell on the eighth day of the fast. “But we have to remember, there are millions of immigrant families who are separated already. This is a crisis. My family and I both understand that I’m doing this for a bigger cause.”
Yoon is part of Fast 4 Families, a group that, as of press time, consisted of 13 fasters who had been on the National Mall since the second week of November, vowing to stay until no longer physically able to continue, or until immigration reform passed, whichever came first.
President Obama and the First Lady also visited the fasters during the Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 29. They thanked Yoon and all of the other fasters for their sacrifice and assured them that his administration is fully supporting the immigration reform. Continue Reading »
by Asha DuMonthier of New America Media
The influx of highly skilled, highly educated workers on H1-B visas from Asian countries in the last decade has skewed poverty statistics, according to a new report by the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD).
In 2011 alone, “there were over 90,000 H1-B visas issued to people coming from Asia.” These highly skilled, high-income immigrants have increased the pool of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and caused the AAPI poverty rate to stay stable even though the actual number of AAPIs living in poverty has grown dramatically.
Between 2000 and 2011 the official AAPI poverty rate only increased by .3 percent. Yet during the same period, according to the report, the actual number of AAPIs living in poverty increased by 50 percent, which means there are roughly half a million more AAPIs living in poverty today than there were ten years ago.
“AAPI poor are one of the fastest growing poverty populations in the wake of the Recession,” states the report. Continue Reading »
North, South Korea work on reopening industrial park
Los Angeles Times
Officials of South and North Korea are scheduled to meet Wednesday to continue working out details of reopening the shuttered Kaesong industrial park, located just north of the demilitarized zone.
On Saturday, representatives from the two nations met at the truce village of Panmunjom, more than three weeks after planned high-level talks had failed over a protocol dispute.
In South Korea’s latest controversies, spy agency takes a leading role
During last year’s presidential election, a team of South Korean intelligence agents allegedly flooded the Internet with several thousand political comments, including some describing left-leaning candidates as North Korea sympathizers.
Then, while that scandal continued to play out, another drama unfolded. The spy agency last month declassified a 2007 transcript that showed then-President Roh Moo-hyun, a liberal, pressing to create a peace zone along a maritime border disputed with the North.
New tests could free man imprisoned for deadly arson
The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)
New tests done on the evidence used to convict a New York man of killing his 20-year-old daughter in a fire at a Monroe County church camp show testimony from a key prosecution witness was unreliable, the man’s attorneys say.
They argue the new test results show Han Tak Lee’s 1990 conviction was based on bad science and unsupported conclusions in the prosecutor’s closing argument, and the attorneys have asked a federal judge to release the 78-year-old from prison, where he is serving a life sentence without parole.
But prosecutors contend the results of the tests, performed at the order of a federal appeals court last year, are themselves unreliable and that the testing methods used by Lee’s expert would not render the same result as those used nearly a quarter century ago.
Loose Women South Korean style: The talk show where North Korean ‘defector beauties’ pepper light chit chat with shocking stories of abuse
The Daily Mail (U.K.)
Anyone tuning in to the start of one of South Korea’s most popular TV shows may believe they will get an evening of light entertainment with a group of women gossiping, having a laugh and flirting with their male guests.
Yes, it sounds like an episode of the UK’s Loose Women or Oprah in the U.S.
But as Daisy Donovan discovered, ‘Now On My Way To Meet You’ can cut from the trivia to traumatic in seconds. The women on the panel are North Korean ‘defector beauties’. They have escaped the brutal dictatorship in the North and now star on the show – that airs on South Korean prime time TV – to share their stories.
Immigration and assimilation: Feeling global, but being an American
Christian Science Monitor
One of the first jolts for Mohammed Raziuddin came when it started snowing. In October. The brochures from Syracuse University that he’d read back in Hyderabad, India, had lots of beautiful pictures from the spring and fall, he recalls with a laugh.
When he arrived in upstate New York in 1993, an eager international graduate student seeking a degree in computer science, everything seemed just as described. Then it got cold: “I had never been in a cold climate before. It was a drastic change.”
But in his 20s – and thrilled to be delving into the academic side of an up-and-coming industry – Mr. Raziuddin chalked the chill up as another part of this adventure called the United States of America.
2 Bergen girls to see Congress about diabetes
Bergen County Record via NorthJersey.com
Two Bergen County girls were chosen out of more than 1,500 applicants nationwide to speak with national lawmakers next week at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress.
Rachel Rhee, 11, of Emerson and Fiona Passalacqua, 14, of Old Tappan are two of five New Jersey delegates who will attend the program, to be held Monday through Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
The girls, among 150 representatives ages 4 to 17 from all 50 states, will meet with the state’s senators and congressmen to urge Congress to continue funding Type 1 diabetes research. They will advocate for a renewal of the Special Diabetes Program, which provides funding for Type 1 diabetes research and prevention and treatment efforts for Native Americans and Alaska Natives with Type 2 diabetes. It is set to expire in 2014.
How does the formation of Asian American communities in Southern California differ from the rest of the country?
Southern California Public Radio
Asian Americans make up the third largest ethnic minority group in the U.S. and a third of them, about 5.6 million, live in California. In SoCal, the San Gabriel Valley and Westminster in Orange County are two Asian enclaves that readily come to mind – they are so big and dense that they sometimes feel more like their own individual region than merely an ethnic neighborhood. A new report co-authored by two Brown University researchers finds that the Asian Americans are almost as segregated from the white Americans as they were 20 years ago.
The trend is especially true when the Asian American population is divided into different ethnic groups. The report also finds that Asian American segregation was more prominent in Los Angeles and New York. “The Asian pattern is separate but equal (or even more than equal), raising questions about the prospect or value of their residential assimilation in the future,” wrote John Logan, who co-authored the report.
In ‘Mistresses,’ Yunjin Kim moves on from ‘Lost’ to lust
ABC’s sexually charged summer series “Mistresses” has many secrets. But they’re nothing for actress Yunjin Kim’s character compared to the mysteries she faced as Sun-Hwa Kwon on “Lost.” Even the way the new drama is filmed is a complete change for the actress.
“It’s refreshing to get scripts through e-mails, something that was never done on ‘Lost,’ ” Kim says. “There are no blank pages, polar bears, a mysterious hatch or all that.
“It’s really refreshing to do a show that’s about the simplicity of life, love, relationships and friendship.”
Kim’s Convenience drawing TV interest, Ins Choi says
CBC News (Canada)
Two years after its debut in Toronto, the hit homegrown play Kim’s Convenience — about a Korean-Canadian family and its convenience store — is still very much open for business.
And it’s snagged the attention of the TV industry as well as a certain celebrity who wants to bring it to the U.S.
Toronto playwright-actor Ins Choi’s charming stage comedy-drama was a smash when it debuted at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, winning the New Play Contest and the Patron’s Pick award. That led to a sold-out showcase and then a remount at the city’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, followed by two Dora Award nominations and the Toronto Theatre Critics trophy for best new Canadian play.
Giants-Slayer Ryu Hyun-jin Racks Up 7th Win
Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers got his seventh win of the season on Friday on the road against the San Francisco Giants.
He limited his opponents to four hits and two runs, while giving up three walks over six and two-third innings. The Dodgers won 10-2.
S. Korea falls to Iraq in quarterfinals of FIFA U-20 World Cup
South Korea fell to Iraq 5-4 on penalties in the quarterfinals of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup on Sunday, coming up short of making its first semifinals appearance at the tournament in three decades.
At Kadir Has Stadium in Kayseri in central Turkey, two South Korean kickers failed to convert in the decisive shootout as Iraq moved on after a thrilling encounter.
South Korea was seeking its first final four berth in the biennial event since 1983 in Mexico. The competition was still called the FIFA World Youth Championship at the time.
Ki Sung-yueng Sorry for Insulting National Coach
Footballer Ki Sung-yueng has apologized for slandering former Korean national team manager Choi Kang-hee on his Facebook page. The page has since been closed.
Ki, who is in the Netherlands with his team Swansea, issued the apology through his agent on Friday. “I apologize for causing so much concern to many fans and the football community with my mischievous and inappropriate remarks,” he wrote. He admitted that he was the one who posted sarcastic comments about Choi on his Facebook page to privately share thoughts and feelings with close friends.
Guide to the Most Popular Korean Alcohol
Korean alcohol is truly a beast unto itself. Because Korea is such an isolated country, the populace came up with some very creative ways to get their drink on. It can be a little intimidating to see all of these intensely foreign liquors when approaching the fridge of your local convenience store, so here’s a guide to the liquors you’re most likely to encounter!
The number of foreigners residing in South Korea has eclipsed 1.5 million for the first time, reports Yonhap News Agency.
More than 1.5 million foreigners equates to at least three out every 100 among the South Korean population are of foreign heritage. The report noted that about half of the foreign population in South Korea was comprised of Chinese (49.9 percent). The rest is made up of Americans (9.3 percent), Vietnamese (8.1 percent), Japanese, Filipinos, Thai (three percent each), Uzbeks (2.5 percent), Indonesians (2.2 percent) and Mongolians (1.8 percent).
During the 1990s, most of the 380,000 foreigners in South Korea were American troops, tourists and industrial trainees. In recent years, however, the number has skyrocketed to three percent of the South Korean population, adding further proof that the country is steadily forming a multicultural and multiracial society. Continue Reading »
Photo via NBC Los Angeles
A former agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service was the alleged mastermind behind an immigration fraud and bribery scheme that involved four federal officials.
Prosecutors said Kwang Man “John” Lee, 47, an attorney based in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, paid federal employees at various immigration-related agencies cash payments of up to $10,000, plane tickets and gifts in exchange for favors related to immigration cases. Lee would then charge clients up to $50,000 for help obtaining green cards, which he would sometimes counterfeit.