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minnesota

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Asian Santa to spread joy at Mall of America in historic first

  • Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the U.S., will have an Asian Santa as part of The Santa Experience this holiday season.
  • Allan Siu, who speaks English and Cantonese, will be the first Asian Santa in the mall’s history.
  • Siu joins five other Santas, including two African Americans, to create The Santa Experience’s most diverse set yet.

For the first time in its history, the largest mall in the U.S. will feature an Asian Santa Claus this holiday season.

Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota, will have Allan Siu as part of The Santa Experience, which is returning after a three-year in-person hiatus due to COVID-19.

‘A home away from home’: Pan-Asian ‘Asia Mall’ to open in Minnesota

  • A pan-Asian mall called Asia Mall held its soft launch in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, on Thursday.
  • Located at 12160 Technology Drive, the mall currently features several Asian restaurants, Asian food stands and a large Asian grocery store.
  • After a delayed summer debut due to logistical issues, the mall is now preparing for a grand opening on Nov. 20.
  • Until then, the mall will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. in limited capacity.

A mall selling all things Asian is gearing up for a grand opening in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, later this month.

After years of planning and development, the aptly named Asia Mall held its soft launch on Thursday, operating in limited capacity until Nov. 19 before its official opening on Nov. 20

Update: Alleged Nanjing Massacre photos discovered in Minnesota pawn shop debunked

  • Photos in an album discovered by a Minnesota pawn shop owner previously believed to have been taken during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre have been debunked.
  • Evan Kail, the owner of St. Louis Park Gold & Silver who goes by “Pawn Man” online, posted a video of the album to TikTok that went viral overnight, garnering over 30 million views and attracting international attention for what many believed was a major historical revelation.
  • “Because of these trolls, particularly this one assclown, nobody will go near this thing now,” Kail claims in a video update posted to his YouTube channel. “I can’t get anybody to f*cking check it out. Every person in Minnesota I had lined up who had some kind of credential ghosted me. They want nothing to do with this because of the controversy.” They don’t want their name anywhere near it.”
  • In an interview with The New Yorker, Timothy Brook, a professor specializing in Chinese history during the Japanese occupation, inspected photographs provided by Kail and determined that “as far as I can tell, none of these photographs are from Nanjing.”
  • It was revealed that the photos Kail believed originated from Nanjing — previously known as Nanking — were captioned “Nanking Road” in the album, which Kail had mistaken for the city when it actually refers to a street in Shanghai.

Photos discovered by a Minnesota pawn shop owner previously believed to have been taken during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre have been debunked.

Evan Kail, the owner of St. Louis Park Gold & Silver who goes by “Pawn Man” online, posted a video to TikTok on Aug. 31 claiming to have discovered long-lost photographs taken during the massacre which lasted for six weeks and saw at least 200,000 Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army. Kail’s video went viral overnight, garnering over 30 million views and attracting international attention for what many believed was a major historical revelation.

Minnesota GOP lawmaker compares Democratic support for abortion to ‘Chinese genocide bill’

  • Rep. Tom Emmer (R, MN-6) slammed Democrats who voted to support reproductive rights.
  • During an interview with Fox News on Sunday,  host Mike Emmanuel mentioned that some Republicans running for office in November decided to remove references to abortion from their campaign website after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
  • “I trust our candidates to know their districts and know how they’re going to appeal to their voters, to the voters that are going to turn out in November and elect them to the next Congress,” Emmer responded.
  • “If Democrats want to make abortion the main issue when every poll we have seen says that the economy and the cost of living is the No. 1 issue, good luck to them trying to defend their extreme position,” he continued.
  • “Every one of them voted for what I call the 'Chinese genocide bill,' which would allow abortion up to moments before a child takes its first breath. I think our candidates know how to message that and they'll be just fine in the midterms."

Rep. Tom Emmer (R, MN-6) has recently criticized Democrats for voting to support reproductive rights, calling it the “Chinese genocide bill.”

Emmer made his comment during an interview with Fox News host Mike Emmanuel on Sunday. During the interview, Emmanuel mentioned that some Republicans running for office in November decided to remove references to abortion from their campaign website after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

Tragedy strikes Twin Cities Hmong community again as father, 2 children die in car crash

  • A Hmong father and his two youngest children died in a car crash in Ham Lake, Minnesota, on Aug. 28.
  • His wife and his oldest daughter survived the impact but were severely injured.
  • Law enforcement agencies, including the Minnesota State Patrol and Anoka County Sheriff's Office, are still investigating the incident. It is not clear what led to the crash.
  • A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds for the family’s funeral and medical expenses.
  • The car crash is just one of many tragedies to have impacted the Hmong American community in the Twin Cities this summer.

Hmong community leaders are asking for support and donations after a Hmong father and his two children died in a car crash in Ham Lake, Minnesota. 

Lee Vang, 28, was driving his family westbound in an SUV on Bunker Lake Boulevard when he crashed head-on into a pickup truck towing a trailer after 3 p.m. on Aug. 28. The crash killed him, his 3-year-old daughter Astrid and 6-month-old son Levi. His wife Rhodia Xiong, 26, and his 7-year-old daughter Kyrie survived the impact but were severely injured. 

Minnesota pawn shop owner claims to have discovered lost photos from the Nanjing Massacre

A pawn shop owner in Minnesota claims to have discovered long-lost photos taken during the Nanjing Massacre.

In a video posted to TikTok with over 9.5 million views, Evan Kail says that a customer sent him an old album of photos from World War II with the intention of selling it. When he opened the album and inspected its contents, he found disturbing photos labeled as if they were taken during the December 1937 massacre, which lasted for six weeks and saw at least 200,000 Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army.

Hmong sausage and purple sticky rice debut at Minnesota State Fair thanks to its first-ever Hmong food vendor

hmong food state fair
  • A pop-up Hmong restaurant in Minnesota has introduced Hmong food to the State Fair for the first time in the event’s 160-plus year history.
  • Union Hmong Kitchen, owned by chef Yia Vang, brings an assortment of Hmong cuisine, including skewered meat and purple sticky rice, to fairgoers.
  • Vang’s parents and relatives have been working together to bring food to fair patrons.
  • The chef’s upcoming restaurant Vinai will be opening in 2023.

Union Hmong Kitchen made its Minnesota State Fair debut, becoming the first Hmong food vendor at the event in its 160-plus year history.

The pop-up restaurant located in the Graze food hall of Minneapolis’ North Loop is owned by chef Yia Vang and serves a variety of Hmong cuisines.

St. Paul Hmong man kills wife and himself while home with their 5 children

  • Yia Xiong, 33, fatally shot his wife Ka Lor, 30, before killing himself on Tuesday night in their St. Paul home, where their five children, ages 2 to 9, were present at the time of the incident.
  • The children reportedly ran to a neighbor’s house after the shooting and called the police.
  • Pheng Thao, the executive director of Transforming Generations, an organization dedicated to ending gender-based violence in the Hmong community, told KARE 11 that many of the factors contributing to the violence are cultural.
  • Xiong’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses and the children’s back-to-school needs.

A Hmong man from Minnesota fatally shot his wife before killing himself in their home with their children present.

St. Paul police responded to a home along the 2000 block of California Avenue East in the city’s Greater East Side at about 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday after one of the couple’s children called 911.

Hmong community holds candlelight vigil at Vadnais Lake for Minnesota couple and their 3 children

  • Members of the Minnesota Hmong community gathered on Saturday and placed flowers, candles and balloons at the shore of Vadnais Lake to honor the memory of a couple and their three children, who were drowned by their mother.
  • Molly Cheng, 23, drowned her three children and herself in Vadnais Lake the same day her husband Yee Lee committed suicide in their Maplewood home on July 1.
  • The candlelight vigil took place where police first found the abandoned shoes of the three children, which prompted the emergency search by Ramsey County.
  • The fathers of the couple voiced their deep grief and gratitude for the support of the community.
  • Family members of Lee and Cheng have set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help raise money for the family’s funeral expenses.

The Hmong 18 Council of Minnesota along with family and community members held a candlelight vigil at Vadnais Lake to honor the memory of a couple and their three children, who were drowned by their mother.

Members of the Hmong community gathered on Saturday and placed flowers, candles and balloons at the shore of Vadnais Lake, where the abandoned shoes of the three children were found two weeks ago. 

Minnesota mom in ‘triple murder-suicide’ allegedly bullied by husband’s relatives after he shot himself

  • Molly Cheng, 23, reportedly drowned herself after allegedly killing her three children by smothering and drowning in Maplewood, Minnesota, on July 1.
  • The killings took place just hours after Molly’s husband, Kos Lee, shot himself to death following an alleged argument with his wife.
  • A Medium post by writer Yia Vue, which cited information from undisclosed sources, claimed that the couple’s marriage had been problematic from the beginning, with Kos’ family disapproving of Molly.
  • In the aftermath of Kos’ death, his relatives allegedly went to Facebook Live to talk about the tragedy and “tear down Molly,” calling her names such as “homewrecker,” “cheater” and “sl*t.”
  • Vue also shed light on Molly having been adopted, and how she felt, even after getting married, that “everything she did was met with disapproval.”
  • Investigation into the case is ongoing.

A Minnesota woman who is believed to have died by drowning herself after allegedly killing her three children was earlier bullied following the death of her husband, according to reports.

The case, which authorities are investigating as a “triple murder-suicide,” has shaken the family’s neighborhood in Maplewood, as well as Hmong communities across the country after making national headlines.

Authorities confirm Minnesota couple died by suicide, 3 children were drowned by mother in lake

  • The Ramsey County medical examiner confirmed the causes of death of Molly Cheng, 23, her husband Yee Lee, 27, and their three children, aged 3 to 5.
  • Lee’s cause of death was confirmed to be a suicide by gunshot wound.
  • The cause of death of Quadrillion T. Lee, 4, and Estella Zoo Siab Lee, 3, were reported to be drowning and smothering. The cause of death of Phoenix Lee, 5, was determined to be drowning.
  • Cheng reportedly drowned by suicide.
  • The Hmong 18 Council of Minnesota along with family and community members will hold a candlelight vigil at Vadnais Lake on July 9 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Family members of Lee and Cheng have set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help raise money for the family’s funeral expenses.

The Ramsey County medical examiner confirmed the causes of death of a Minnesota couple and their children, who were recovered from Vadnais Lake, in what authorities are investigating as a triple murder-suicide.

Maplewood Police officers responded to the 1300 block of Pearson Drive in Maplewood on July 1 when Molly Cheng, 23, reported that her 27-year-old husband, Yee Lee, had shot himself.