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New York City reverses on controversial high school admissions process

  • New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks announced that the city is rolling back a pandemic-era moratorium that allowed more low-income students to enter some of the city’s most elite schools via “random lottery.”
  • The move, which Banks said was based on feedback from families, will regrant selective schools the option to reserve admissions for top-performing students. 
  • “It’s critically important that if you’re working hard and making good grades, you should not be thrown into a lottery with just everybody,” Banks was quoted as saying. 
  • He clarified that since the city is not imposing a blanket rule, it will be left to the district superintendents to work with school communities to implement admissions processes they deem best for them. 

Top high schools in New York City are expected to tighten their admissions criteria with the return of grade-based admissions. 

On Thursday, City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks announced that the city is rolling back a controversial pandemic-era moratorium that allowed more low-income students to enter some of the city’s most elite schools.

GOP Rep. Michelle Steel sends out fliers falsely depicting Democratic rival Jay Chen holding ‘The Communist Manifesto’

Michelle Steel
  • In support of GOP Rep. Michelle Steel's (R, CA-48) upcoming re-election for California’s 45th district, “red-baiting” fliers were sent out by her campaign to the Vietnamese American community in Orange County.
  • Previously part of the 48th district, a new 45th congressional district was created during the redrawing of district boundaries last year.
  • The fliers feature a doctored image of Steel’s Democrat rival, Jay Chen, in a classroom holding Karl Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto” alongside other communist figures: Mao Zedong, Vladimir Lenin and Ho Chi Minh.
  • The flier’s depiction of Chen is expected to boost Steel’s campaign due to the ingrained opposition to communism held by many in the AAPI community.

California GOP Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) and her campaign reportedly funded and created “red-baiting” fliers targeting her Democratic opponent, Jay Chen.

Steel currently represents California’s 48th District in her first term. Born in South Korea, Steel made her mark by being one of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress. Like many other Asian American immigrants, Steel immigrated to the United States to achieve the supposed “American Dream.”

Trump’s self-described ‘love letters’ to Kim Jong-un seized from Mar-a-lago have been published

trump kim
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump were essentially penpals between April 2018 and August 2019, exchanging letters that Trump often described as “love letters.”
  • On Sunday, The Korus Journal, by nonprofit Korean-American Club, published 27 personal letters exchanged between Kim and Trump.
  • Kim sent two letters in September 2018, in which he indicated his desire to personally discuss with Trump a potential denuclearization of North Korea.
  • “The most important cause of what your side considers the headache of ‘missile threats’ and nuclear problem is the military actions of your side and the South Korean military that threatens our safety,” Kim wrote. “And until these elements are eliminated, no changed outcome can be anticipated.”
  • The two leaders exchanged letters actively for about a year, halting only after their second summit in Hanoi failed to make progress.
  • “As of now, it is very difficult for me and my people to understand the decision and behavior of you and South Korean authorities,” read Kim’s letter, dated Aug. 5, 2019.

Letters exchanged between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump between April 2018 and August 2019 have recently been published. 

Korean-American Club, a nonprofit composed of South Korean journalists from different news agencies, published 27 personal letters exchanged between Kim and Trump in the latest issue of its magazine, The Korus Journal.

Advocates laud India’s Supreme Court decision to uphold a single woman’s right to late term abortion

India Supreme court
  • Advocates have hailed India’s Supreme Court Justice D.Y. Chandrachud’s decision to uphold a woman’s right to an abortion up to 24 weeks into pregnancy regardless of marital status.
  • Chandrachud’s ruling effectively granted the petition of a 25-year-old single woman who sought abortion after her relationship failed.
  • Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court denied the woman’s right to terminate her more than 20-week-old pregnancy, arguing that the law for such late-term abortions did not cover unmarried women.
  • India’s 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act had limited access of the prodecure to married women, divorcees, widows, minors, "disabled and mentally ill women" and survivors of sexual assault or rape.
  • The Supreme Court, however, noted that the “decision to have or not to have an abortion is borne out of complicated life circumstances, which only the woman can choose on her own terms without external interference or influence.”
  • PARI (People Against Rapes in India) founder Yogita Bhayana called the ruling a “a first step, it is a progressive step."

Advocates are hailing India’s Supreme Court’s decision upholding a woman’s right to an abortion up to 24 weeks into pregnancy regardless of marital status as a “milestone.”

Supreme Court Justice D.Y. Chandrachud handed down the decision on Thursday that an unmarried women cannot be denied their right to a late-term abortion. 

Survey reveals Anti-Asian hate crimes in the US are scaring away Chinese travelers

  • A new survey of 1,000 mainland Chinese citizens found that a majority had “little to no interest” in U.S. travel.
  • The biggest reasons all involve perceived anti-Asian violence and discrimination in the U.S., with 57% citing violent crime, 52% citing terroism and 44% concerned by anti-Chinese biases.
  • Many also identified the increasing number of mass shootings in the U.S. as a significant concern.
  • Scott Moskowitz, who co-authored the survey, pointed out that state-controlled media in China does, however, play up anti-Asian crime stories in the U.S. when compared to other countries due to geopolitical tensions.

The uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. is deterring potential visitors from China. 

This month, a new survey from Morning Consult, a decision intelligence company, found that a “plurality of Chinese have little to no interest in US travel,” citing anti-Asian discrimination and violence as key factors. 

David Louie, one of the Bay Area’s first Asian American TV reporters, retires after 50 years

david louie
  • Asian American TV reporter David Louie has retired after 50 years of working at ABC7 in San Francisco.
  • He was one of the first Asian American journalists to be hired by a TV news outlet in the Bay Area, and has been on air the longest.
  • Over the years, Louie took on many of the Bay Area’s biggest stories, including the Loma Prieta earthquake, the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, the 9/11 attack in Washington, DC, and the 1976 Chowchilla Kidnapping.
  • ABC7 news anchors Kristen Sze and Dan Ashley recalled Louie’s kindness and impact throughout the years in an on-air tribute.

Asian American TV reporter David Louie has marked the end of his 50-year career at ABC7 in San Francisco.

Louie, who became a trailblazer for Asian American journalists, celebrated his retirement at the Ferry Plaza’s Wine Merchant with his colleagues on Wednesday. 

TikTok video of woman kicked out of Korean BBQ restaurant for being alone has netizens divided

KICKED OUT KOREAN BBQ
  • TikTok user Sunshine Chavez took to the platform to share her experience of being kicked out from a Korean barbecue restaurant because she was alone.
  • The incident occurred at Bwon Shabu & BBQ at 1841 W. Orangethorpe Ave. in Fullerton, California, as per the customer sign-in sheet Chavez had shared.
  • In her 15-second TikTok video, a staff member can be heard saying that the restaurant only accepts a minimum of “two orders” while showing the policy in print.
  • While turning Chavez away, the staff apologizes and encourages her to bring a friend “next time.”
  • Chavez said the incident left her sitting in her car and crying before giving herself a confidence check after 15 minutes.

A woman said she ended up in tears after being asked to leave a Korean barbecue restaurant in Fullerton, California, because she was alone.

Sunshine Chavez, who describes herself as “just a girl that’s passionate about cooking,” took to TikTok to share her unfortunate experience, which occurred at Bwon Shabu & BBQ at 1841 W. Orangethorpe Ave. earlier this week.

Never-before-seen footage of The Beatles’ 1966 tour of Japan released by Tokyo police

Rare footage of The Beatles surrounded by security upon arriving in Japan was recently screened.

Filmed roughly half a century ago during Japan’s Showa Period (1926-1989), the footage was released by the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo to nonprofit organization Joho Kokai Shimin Center, which made an information disclosure request to the department in 2015.

Asians, Jews in Philadelphia unite in new organization to fight hate

  • Gov. Tom Wolf’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and the American Jewish Alliance launched the Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance (PAPAJA) on Thursday.
  • United by shared experiences of increased violence in recent years, the alliance seeks to build ties between the Asian and Jewish communities and create opportunities for them to work together against hate and discrimination.
  • Aside from combating hate, Stephanie Sun, executive director of the Advisory Commission, said the alliance will cultivate knowledge on unique common struggles, such as “the myth of model minority and the myth of dual loyalty.”
  • Thursday’s press conference, which was held at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, came right after the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

United by a common struggle of increased hate in recent years, Asian and Jewish people in Philadelphia will now be represented by an organization that aims to combat further violence against their communities.

Launched on Thursday by Gov. Tom Wolf’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and the American Jewish Committee, the new Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance (PAPAJA) seeks to build ties between the Asian and Jewish communities and create opportunities to work together to purge anti-Asian hate and anti-Semitism.

Chicago police release details of suspects in violent robbery of elderly Asian man on Red Line train

  • Chicago police are looking for a man and a woman in connection with a Red Line train robbery that left an elderly Asian man bleeding profusely from his head.
  • The incident, which was caught in a now-viral video, occurred near the 95th/Dan Ryan stop at 15 W. 95th St. at around 2:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to police.
  • In the video, the pair of suspects can be seen asking for the victim’s ID, reaching into his pockets and ultimately bashing his head with his own wine bottle.
  • Teshaun Terry, who recorded the incident, said there was “literally no one” at the station when she rushed to ask for help.
  • Police described the suspects as Black, aged 25 to 30 and standing between 5 feet and 3 inches and 5 feet and 9 inches.
  • The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) relaunched a K-9 unit, added private security guards and installed new surveillance cameras at station booths in response to the incident.

Chicago police have released information on the suspects of a Red Line train robbery that left an elderly Asian man bleeding profusely from his head.

The incident, which was caught in a now-viral video, occurred near the 95th/Dan Ryan stop at 15 W. 95th St. at around 2:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to police.

Studio Ghibli previews theme park attractions at touring exhibition in Japan

studio ghibli
  • Studio Ghibli will be holding touring exhibitions in five cities across Japan ahead of its theme park’s opening in November.
  • The exhibitions will showcase behind-the-scenes memorabilia of the theme park’s conception, including versions of the attractions inspired by the beloved films of Hayao Miyazaki and his animation studio.
  • The Ghibli Exhibition will include photo-friendly installations, such as the Catbus from 1988 film “My Neighbor Totoro.”
  • There will also be exclusive regional merchandise available, including pins and stickers.

Studio Ghibli will be holding touring exhibitions in cities across Japan ahead of its theme park’s opening in November. 

The Ghibli Park and Ghibli Exhibition touring art installation is headed to five cities across Japan to give fans a taste of what is to come this November at Ghibli Park.

Seattle protesters clash with supporters of ‘homeless megaplex’ plan

  • Unhoused counter-protesters confronted over 100 Chinatown-International District residents protesting against the proposed “homeless megaplex” plan in the neighborhood on Tuesday.
  • “I’m not a criminal. Why shouldn’t I live here?” an unhoused man can be heard saying in a video shared on Twitter by Seattle reporter Jonathan Choe.
  • A woman was also filmed telling the Chinatown-ID residents, “Go back to your country.”
  • The King County Council approved a lease on May 3 to build a megaplex shelter that can house 500 people. Executing the plan would reportedly cost around $54 million.

Over 100 Chinatown-International District residents in Seattle were met by unhoused counter-protesters at a rally in protest of the proposed “homeless megaplex” plan in the neighborhood earlier this week.

The Chinatown-International District residents marched down the street in Seattle’s Hing Hay Park to the King County Council meeting before noon on Tuesday in protest of the proposed $54 million plan to build a shelter – which they refer to as a “homeless megaplex” – for unhoused people.