Benson Henderson Loses UFC Lightweight Title by First-Round Submission
Author: Steve Han
Posted: September 3rd, 2013
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Anthony Pettis once again proved to be the nemesis for Benson Henderson, who surrendered his Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title last Saturday in Milwaukee after a first-round armbar forced him to verbally tap out.

Henderson controlled the opening stages of the fight in a heavily anticipated rematch, but Pettis quickly turned things around by landing four straight body kicks. Pettis then took the fight to the floor and executed a hard armbar on Henderson’s right arm. Pettis’ expertly maneuvered armbar forced Henderson to tap out with just 4:31 into the fight. It was Henderson’s first loss in the UFC.

“Anthony is a tough dude,” said Henderson, whose streak of seven straight wins ended. “He proved himself to be the No. 1 contender and the champion. My arm is killing me, dog.” Continue Reading »

With UFC Title at Stake, Benson Henderson Hungry for Rematch With Anthony Pettis
Author: Steve Han
Posted: August 30th, 2013
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It’s not often a defending champion takes on his challenger with something to prove, but Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Benson Henderson will look to redeem himself when he faces Anthony Pettis on Saturday in Milwaukee.

Henderson and Pettis first met in December 2010 in the World Extreme Cagefighting finale, when Pettis jumped off the cage and landed a high-flying kick on Henderson’s face in the fifth round for the win. Pettis’ infamous kick sparked an electrifying reaction from MMA fans and became signature footage for fight promo ads. The video of the kick also received millions of hits on YouTube.

Neither of the two consider one another as a rival. Pettis hinted that he’s focused on winning the title, and Henderson happens to be in a way.

“Me and Ben, I wouldn’t say we have bad blood or are rivals or anything,” Pettis told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “He’s a champ and I want that belt. That’s all there is to it. Nothing personal against him. He’s the champ and I’m the challenger and I have my work cut out for me.” Continue Reading »

Thursday’s Link Attack: NKorean Defector Acquitted; K-Pop 101 at KCON; Shin-Soo Choo Has Huge Game
Author: Grace Kang
Posted: August 22nd, 2013
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At Harrowing North Korea Hearings, a Dwindling Audience
Wall Street Journal

Here at the United Nations’ Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea, the heartbreaking stories continue to stream out.

On Thursday, a rapt audience heard harrowing first-hand testimonials from North Korean escapees: widespread orphanage deaths during the famine of the 1990s; public executions witnessed by young children; a disabled man crossing the Tumen River into China on crutches; and starving children forced to eat tree bark, cabbage roots, lizards, snakes and rats.

The only catch is, there wasn’t much of an audience at all. Here in hard-bitten Seoul, home to thousands of North Korean defectors, these sorts of harrowing tales rarely attract the same level of attention found overseas. Some people fear that South Koreans have grown inured to the plight of political prisoners and escapees from the North, 60 years after the cessation of the war that divided the peninsula.

Prominent North Korean defector acquitted of espionage by South Korean court
Washington Post

SEOUL — A North Korean defector was acquitted Thursday by a Seoul district court of espionage charges, accusations initially made by his sister, who said she and her brother had been recruited to spy by the North’s secret police.

Until his arrest eight months ago, Yoo Woo-sung had been among the most well-connected and trusted of the 24,000 defectors from North Korea now living in the South. Yoo, 32, held a job at Seoul City Hall and coached fresh arrivals about their bustling, sometimes bewildering new home country.

His arrest rattled the defector community and raised concerns among activists about the methods that South Korea uses to weed out spies from defectors.

In the past five years, South Korea has arrested 14 defectors as spies, a group that includes would-be assassins and temptresses seeking military secrets.

But Yoo’s case had an unusual twist: He was accused by his sister, Yoo Ga-ryeo, as she was trying to defect from North Korea herself and was being investigated by South Korean intelligence agents.

North, South Korea Finalize Talks on Family Reunions
Voice of America

North and South Korea have finalized an agreement to hold talks Friday on reuniting families separated by the Korean War.

Seoul said Thursday Pyongyang agreed to its offer to hold the talks on the South Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom. It has been three years since the last official meeting between Korean families that were driven apart by the 1950s conflict.

The South’s Unification Ministry also said the North proposed soon holding talks on resuming South Korean visits to its Mount Kumgang resort. Seoul suspended the visits in 2008 following the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist in the area.

Unification Church member inflames self, 2 others
AP via Sacramento Bee

SEOUL, South Korea — Three Japanese nationals who reportedly are followers of the Unification Church suffered burns Thursday when one of them set herself and the other two on fire in a South Korean town known as the heart of the church.

The incident took place one day before the lunar calendar’s first anniversary of the death of Unification Church founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, but the motive was not immediately clear.

Gapyeong fire official Kim Oh-Jeong said a 53-year-old woman set herself, a 54-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman on fire inside the lobby of CheongShim Village, a retirement community operated by the Unification Church northeast of Seoul. South Korean news agency Yonhap said the three are church followers.

K-Flicks: Korean filmmakers storm Hollywood
Global Post

If you’re a film buff, you may have heard of a Korean-made summer blockbuster that, strangely, hasn’t reached American shores quite yet.

Starring a line-up of famous Western actors, some critics say Snowpiercer — Korea’s most expensive film ever — represents a potential cultural landmark. Based on a French comic book, it covers a dystopia of post-apocalyptic survivors who, living on a train that travels around the world, rebel against their repressive overlords.

It’s a familiar moral tale about the fall of humankind. But look beyond storyline, and you’ll see that the film says a lot more about South Korea, a nation whose filmmakers are making a sudden splash in Hollywood this year. In fact, Snowpiercer’s renowned Korean director, Bong Joon-ho, is the third star in recent months to make his English debut, while breaking a number of box office records in his home country.

Los Angeles’ KCON aims to take K-pop to another level for fans
Los Angeles Times

Among the many things to do at this weekend’s Korean pop culture convention KCON — sets by K-pop stars G-Dragon and 2 AM, business panels on exporting K-pop and Korean cooking classes among them — some of the most interesting events are about how to become a K-pop star yourself.

Throughout the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena are panels on “Developing K-Pop Songwriting Skills,” “The Art of Remixing and Sampling K-Pop” and “How I Became a K-Pop Choreographer.” You can drop by a space devoted to learning the dance moves from K-pop videos, or a seminar on beauty tips to prime your face for the K-pop spotlight.

As the “hallyu” wave of fun, futuristic South Korean pop culture dominates Asia and continues its inroads in America with acts such as Girls Generation and 2NE1 signing to major U.S. labels, fans here have a growing curiosity about how it all gets made. KCON is there to show them.

Crayon Pop Talks ‘Bar Bar Bar,’ New Fame and Next Single: Exclusive Video Interview
Billboard

To stand out among the tons of K-pop girl groups making waves this year, there seemed to be only two options: Either ooze sexiness with skin-barring outfits and pelvic-thrusting dance moves or stay sweet with fluffy skirts and repeated camera-winks. Most girl groups took the former option, and made some noticeable impact, but without any long-term success.

Then came Crayon Pop, who flipped the scene with the unthinkable. Neither sexy nor cute, they were, intead, straight-out absurd. Their breakout single “Bar Bar Bar” is centered around a dance move called the “Straight-Five-Engine Dance” and a unique stage ensemble of big bicycle helmets and eye-popping tracksuits. It’s helped the group become one of the most talked-about acts this year. The quirky concept has inspired parodies and dance covers all throughout Korea and, thanks to its viral success, the song has finally landed on the coveted No.1 spot of K-Pop Hot 100.

The five members — Ellin, Soyul, Gummi, Choa and Way in their signature helmet and tracksuit getup — sat down with Billboard for an exclusive video interview to discuss their sudden rise to fame, new record deal with Sony Music Korea and what to expect from their hotly-anticipated next single.

Mike Park announces plans to release new Bruce Lee Band record (and 2 other albums) in 2014
Dying Scene

Mike Park, longtime owner and operator of legendary California punk/ska label Asian Man Records, has announced plans to release a new Bruce Lee Band record – along with a new all-ska kid’s album, and a solo acoustic record – in 2014:

“…I’ve been recording lots of new music. Actually, lots and lots of SKA. Sometime next year I’ll have a new kids album that’s all ska and will also debut a new Bruce Lee Band album to relive my 90′s love for SKA/PUNK.

And for those who only like my acoustic stuff, I’ve got that stuff too. So mucho music coming from me this next year. Be well.

peace, mike park”

Shin-Soo Choo-led Reds hold on for 10-7 win over Arizona Diamondbacks
WCPO Cincinnati

Shin-Soo Choo went 4 for 5 with a homer and three RBIs to spark Cincinnati’s offensive outburst in a 10-7 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

The Reds opened up a six-game lead over Arizona in the race for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

Cincinnati remained third in the NL Central, but moved to 2 1/2 games behind first-place Pittsburgh, which lost at San Diego.

Mike Leake allowed four runs in the fifth inning, but was dominant in his other five innings for first win in his past five starts.

Leake (11-5) allowed six hits and four runs with no walks and three strikeouts while the Reds were building an 8-0 lead.

‘Korean Zombie’ likely out one year following surgeries for dislocated shoulder, broken orbital bone
SB Nation

Chan Sung Jung will have to wait a bit longer than expected to get back into the title hunt after his manager Brian Rhee informed MMAFighting.com that he could be out of action for a up to one full year because of surgery to repair a separated shoulder and broken orbital bone.

The timetable for his return, according to Rhee, is dependent on the rehab process.

“Korean Zombie” suffered the injuries at UFC 163 earlier this month during his title fight against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight champion Jose Aldo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Treat yourself to Korean dumplings at Cho Man Won
Los Angeles Times

Name of restaurant: Cho Man Won

Follow the money: This casual restaurant is owned by the same people as O Dae San, an all-you-can-eat barbecue joint, next door.

What dish represents the restaurant, and why? They’re known for their Korean Chinese cuisine. Although they serve the typical jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles) and jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup), the real treats are their mandu (Korean dumplings). They have jjin mandu (steamed dumplings) filled with kimchi and pork or vegetables and pork, nicely plump in their almost translucent skins. Their goon mandu (fried dumplings) are the typical crescent-shaped deals with crispy skins and also filled with meat. Their English menu with photos makes it easy to order.

Designer Delivery: Richard Chai Unveils eBay Now Tote
ELLE

New York’s famously fast-paced lifestyle inspired Richard Chai to collaborate with one of the city’s many time-saving services: eBay Now. The designer created a tote bag that 200 lucky eBay Now customers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens will get for free with any purchase off the site. The expandable bag fits all of your essentials and features an electric blue-and-white graphic pattern reflecting Chai’s spring 2014 collection. Chai explained the design was meant to be a statement embodying a mix of NYC’s tough reputation and underlying romanticism.

“I was inspired by geometric shapes and patterns, but doing them in a way that feels soft and fluid,” he told us.

Benson Henderson Defends UFC Title, Gets Engaged to Girlfriend
Author: Steve Han
Posted: April 22nd, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion Benson Henderson retained his title on Saturday after a hard-fought split decision victory over challenger Gilbert Melendez at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. It was just the first of two big moments for the champ as he made MMA history with a post-fight proposal.

Melendez, who held the lightweight title in the Strikeforce promotion before it was bought out by UFC, made it a rare clash between two champions. But Henderson triumphed in a closely contested five-round fight, capitalizing on a flurry of low kicks and well-timed punches and elbows. In the end, the judges scored the bout 47-48, 48-47 and 48-47, allowing Henderson the slim victory and a 19-2 career MMA record.

The match was held before approximately 13,500 fans and broadcast nationally on Fox. Continue Reading »

Wednesday’s Links: Remembering Virginia Tech; Korean Tourist Killed By Shark; Psy On Pace for 12 Billion Views
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: April 17th, 2013
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Park urges end to rewarding N. Korea’s bad behavior
Yonhap News

South Korean President Park Geun-hye called Wednesday for an end to rewarding North Korea’s bad behavior, saying the “vicious cycle” of Pyongyang creating a crisis before returning to negotiations and receiving assistance must be broken.

Park made the remark during a meeting with a group of foreign ambassadors, saying the international community should speak with one voice to make North Korea decide whether to remain isolated from the outside world or to become a responsible member of the international community.

“We must break the vicious cycle of holding negotiations and providing assistance if (North Korea) makes threats and provocations, and again holding negotiations and providing assistance if there are threats and provocations,” Park said during the meeting.

Electric cable a lifeline for idled symbol of Korean cooperation
Reuters

An electricity cable running from South Korea over the border into North Korea is one of last lifelines for more than 200 South Korean workers at a joint industrial park that North Korea has shut down amid fears of war.

About 53,000 North Koreans worked at the Kaesong complex, just inside North Korea, where 123 South Korean companies have set up factories.

North Korea suspended work there last week as it stepped up its threats of war over new sanctions imposed after its third nuclear test in February, snuffing out the last remnant of cooperation between the neighbors.

Six Years After Shooting, Virginia Tech Remembers
NPR

With so much attention given to the violent bombings in Boston, Virginia Tech is remembering a terrible tragedy of its own today. It’s been six years since shooter Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 on the Virginia Tech campus, and then shot himself to death. Today, his victims are being remembered in a series of events.

The college’s Day of Remembrance began early this morning with a candle lighting at midnight. It will burn all day, until it’s extinguished tonight at midnight. At 11:30 this morning, a community picnic is planned. There are sites for “quiet reflection” set up around campus.

First Coast Boston Marathon participant will keep running
First Coast News (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Sung Ho Choi of Jacksonville ran in his 10th Boston Marathon on Monday.

He came in at 3 hours, around 1:20 p.m., then returned to his hotel. He heard the bombs going off while he was in the shower.

“When I went into the shower, and had the water running,” he said. “that’s when the bombs went off. I was in total shock. I was just like … I didn’t know what to think.”

Choi, who goes by Henry, said he was in shock.

Korean Tourist Attacked by Killer Shark
Chosun Ilbo

A Korean man in his 40s was killed by a shark in Guam, AP reported on Tuesday.

The man, who was identified as Kim Nae-dok, went missing on Saturday and staff of the Pacific Island Club, the resort hotel where he had been staying, searched the area.

His remains were eventually discovered by two fishermen about 6 m from Tumon Bay the following day. The body was missing both legs and the right arm.

Why ‘Gentleman’ Could Be Psy’s Next Video to Break a Billion Views
Wall Street Journal

But what’s truly remarkable is that if “Gentleman” simply tracks the growth rate of “Gangnam,” it will take over the all-time record in a little over a month, and hurdle 4 billion in 45 days. And in just 75 days, “Gentleman” would project out as hitting 12.6 billion views.

Now, of course, that’s a level of popularity that “Gentleman” can’t possibly attain — it’s more views than YouTube collectively generates each month from all of its videos on a global basis, and “Gentleman’s” momentum already looks like it may be slowing.

Suburgatory’s Rex Lee on Artificial Romance and Self-Love
The Advocate

Rex Lee sashayed into our hearts as the Lloyd Lee, the long-suffering guy Friday to power publicist Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) on HBO’s Entourage. But these days, Lee has traded his designer shades and skinny lattes for the provincial charm of the fictional town of Chatswin, N.Y., in ABC’s sleeper hit Suburgatory, which airs a special hour-long season finale tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The out Korean-American actor once again portrays a gay man, as Mr. Wolfe, the guidance counselor who often seeks counsel from the show’s teenage protagonist, Tessa (Jane Levy). While Mr. Wolfe was originally intended to be a minor character, fans responded so well that show creator Emily Kapnek wove Wolfe’s storyline into the show’s broader narrative.

Review: Ahn Trio at Winspear Opera House
Dallas Morning News

The three South Korean-born sisters who perform as the Ahn Trio have appeared in magazine fashion spreads as well as on concert stages. (Good looks haven’t hurt their careers.) On Tuesday night, they performed a decidedly non-traditional piano-trio program for an enthusiastic audience at the Winspear Opera House.

Jointly presented by TITAS and the AT&T Performing Arts Center, they stuck to music composed or arranged for them. They chatted with the audience in the manner of giggly movie starlets.

No shortcuts on Bendo’s road to greatness
ESPN.com

Benson Henderson didn’t begin preparing for his showdown Saturday night with Gilbert Melendez a few months ago, when the UFC officially announced the fight.

That process started six years ago, when Henderson trained for the first time in mixed martial arts. It was at that moment that he took the initial step toward achieving his ultimate goal: of one day being recognized as the greatest mixed martial artist ever.

In every training session, Henderson visualized himself competing and winning fights. Sometimes he’d put a face on his imaginary foe. On a few occasions, the foe would be Melendez.

And in every one of those imaginary battles, Henderson would walk away victorious.

John Huh revels following first appearance at Masters Tournament
Glendale News-Press (Calif.)

John Huh arrived at his Texas home Monday quite satisfied following his most recent accomplishment and with his young career on the upswing.

Huh, a 2008 Crescenta Valley High graduate, participated in The Masters Tournament last week. He finished tied for 11th in the prestigious event, earning him an invitation to the 2014 rendition at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

“My ultimate goal was to go out there and play some good golf,” said Huh, last year’s PGA Rookie of the Year who finished the four-round event with a two-under-par 286. “It’s neat for me that I get to come back and I feel like I deserve it.

Michelle Wie looks to turn around LPGA Tour struggles with home-state stop in Hawaii
AP via Washington Post

Michelle Wie is hoping a Hawaii stop on the LPGA Tour will inject a little aloha into her game.

She’s 91st in the world ranking after breaking 70 only once in 18 rounds so far this season. She’s coming off a season-best tie for 41st two weeks ago in the Kraft Nabisco Championship — after starting the tournament with an apology from Annika Sorenstam for being quoted as saying the former child prodigy hasn’t shown the talent that initially made her a star.

Ryu Hyun-jin to Establish Charity Foundation
Chosun Ilbo

Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers will establish a charity foundation in conjunction with sponsor Hanmi Bank, his agency said on Monday.

“Ryu plans to set up a foundation because he wants to do something good. It will take about six months to come up with a concrete plan,” a spokesman said at a press conference announcing the sponsorship deal with the largest Korean bank in the United States.

Eighth-grader makes state geographic bee
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

Sung In Jeon, an eighth-grader at Tower Heights Middle School in Centerville, wants to be a medical doctor in the distant future. “I want to go to different countries and help people,” said the 14-year-old.

His favorite subjects are science, math and social studies — but it was his interest and knowledge of social studies that got him to the Ohio Geographic Bee in Columbus on April 5. He was among the top 100 scorers in Ohio invited to compete as a semifinalist.

“We’ve only had two students qualify for state competition during the six years I’ve taught here,” said Elizabeth Dickson, his social studies teacher for the past three years.

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