Sharkbites Newsletter


👋 Hello and good morning! 
It’s Wednesday, May 17. Here’s what you need to know in our community today:


🌺 WWII Hawaiian soldiers finally get their due:

Five Hawaiian men who served with Japanese-language linguists during World War II were posthumously awarded Purple Heart medals almost eight decades after their deaths in a plane crash. 

  • The recipients, who were part of the Military Intelligence Service, were Joseph Kuwada, Haruyuki Ikemoto, Kazuyoshi Inouye, Wilfred Motokane and Masaru Sogi.

  • “I don’t have words. I’m just overwhelmed. I’m just happy that he got recognized,” Ikemoto’s brother Wilfred said at the awarding ceremony in Pearl Harbor on Friday. 

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👑 Miss Hawaii steps up after Miss USA steps down:

Miss Hawaii USA 2023 Savannah Gankiewicz is now also Miss USA after previous titleholder Noelia Voigt chose to relinquish the crown amid accusations of toxicity within the Miss USA organization.

  • Gankiewicz, who is of Filipino, Vietnamese and Polish descent, was first runner-up at the 2023 Miss USA pageant.

  • “While this decision was not made lightly, I firmly believe that this opportunity was meant for me and I am ready to make a positive impact with this organization that I hold dear to my heart. I am dedicated to taking action and making a difference with my background as a certified mental health first aid responder and training in anti-bullying suicide prevention,” she said during her crowning ceremony in Honolulu on Wednesday.

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🇺🇸 Miss Teen USA’s mom speaks out:

The mother of UmaSofia Srivastava, who relinquished her Miss Teen USA crown last week after Voigt stepped down as Miss USA, spoke out on her behalf in an interview with “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

  • “The job of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare. We could not continue this charade. The girls decided to step down and give (up) their dream of a lifetime — a crown, a national title. Why would two girls decide to give that up?” Barbara said.

  • Srivastava, the first Miss Teen USA of Indian and Mexican descent, can’t speak about her experience since she is bound by non-disclosure agreements.

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🤵‍♂️ Donnie Yen’s “John Wick” spinoff:

Donnie Yen’s “John Wick” spinoff: Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen is set to reprise his role as Caine, the blind assassin from “John Wick: Chapter 4,” in a new standalone film from Lionsgate, the studio announced on Wednesday.

  • The project is set to begin filming in Hong Kong next year.

  • “From the moment Donnie Yen appeared on screen in ‘John Wick: Chapter 4,’ he captivated audiences and created an authentic, emotional connection that left an indelible mark and had fans asking for more,” said Lionsgate film chair Adam Fogelson.

  • “Caine is an incredible character with a haunted past, and I am excited to return to the role,” Yen said.

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🗓️ This date in history:

  • Today in 1954, the US Supreme Court unanimously rejected racial segregation in public schools through landmark case Brown v. Board of Education.

❓ Did you know?

Do you agree?

  • A Chinese man’s TikTok video arguing that ethnically Chinese Singaporeans too often reject their Chinese roots has reignited a debate about national identity in Singapore. “They prefer to be called Singaporeans. With the passing of time, they have forgotten their culture and also their roots,” he claimed.

Until tomorrow,

Alan Van

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