Sharkbites Newsletter

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👋 Hello and good morning! 
It’s Tuesday, May 21. Here’s what you need to know in our community today:

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It’s East Timor Independence Day:

🐼 Lone US zoo pandas set to return to China:

Zoo Atlanta, home to the only pandas currently on US soil, is set to return its four giant pandas to China later this year, which will be a bear-y sad day indeed. 

  • Lun Lun, Yang Yang and their cubs Ya Lun and Xi Lun will be sent back to China by the end of 2024, concluding a 25-year loan agreement.

  • The San Diego Zoo and San Francisco Zoo have signed partnership deals with China to receive pairs of pandas between late 2024 and sometime in 2025, continuing Beijing’s panda diplomacy with the US.

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🇸🇬 “World’s best airline” gives back to its workers:

“World’s best airline” gives back to its workers: Singapore Airlines is celebrating record profits by putting its money where its mouth is and rewarding its employees with a pizza party. Just kidding. They’re getting bonuses worth nearly eight months’ salary!

  • After the flag carrier of Singapore was named the world’s best airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the fifth time in 2023, its CEO praised employees for their sacrifices that helped the airline emerge in good form from the pandemic.

  • The airline reported a record annual net profit of $1.98 billion in the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year, a 24% increase from the previous year.

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💞 Chinese “digital parents” share their love:

Married couple Jiang Xiuping and Pan Huqian, aged in their 50s, have gained over a million followers on Douyin with their comforting and supportive videos. 

  • In their videos, which resonate with many adolescents and young adults who feel neglected or unloved by their real families, the couple share their daily activities and offer comforting messages to their followers, whom they call “daughters and sons.” The videos simulate parental support, with encouraging talks, surprise gifts and pretend money transfers.

  • “These children call us ‘dad and mom.’ I feel we have more responsibility now. Their love has warmed our hearts, and we need to do our best to comfort them as well,” Jiang told Rest of World. 

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💗 Ali Wong opens up about new relationship:

During the last day of the Netflix is a Joke Fest on May 12, Golden Globe-winning actor and comedian Ali Wong revealed how fellow comedian and new beau Bill Hader first wooed her.

  • Wong and ex-husband Justin Hakuta split up after eight years of marriage in 2022.

  • “I get a phone call from this guy who I met at a dinner party in the past, and he got my number from a mutual friend. He was like, ‘Hey, I just happened to hear the news about your divorce, and I’ve had a crush on you forever. I actually told my best friend years ago that you were my dream girl, and I know it sounds crazy, but I want you to be my girlfriend,” Wong recalled about Hader.

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👀 Check this out!

Young North Korean defector Kim Hak-sung is chasing his K-pop idol dreams and showing his courage and talent on South Korean reality TV show “Make Mate 1.” “I think it’s more about wanting to give hope to people who are in a difficult environment or who can’t do what they want to do,” he said.

💡 TLDR:

Until tomorrow,

Alan Van

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