Daily Dose: 09/29/08

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» AsianWeek Market Report
» 60th Anniversary of Oyama vs. California
» Indiana University Establishes Asian American Studies
» Japanese Yoga Helps Richmond Adults Learn
» Los Angeles Court Asks Governor to Sign Legislation for Civil Court Interpreters
» Nam Le Recognized by the National Book Foundation
» Tea Master to Retire
» Lisa Ling Reports on Scary Rise of Heroin in Small-Town America
» ASHA to Host Book Release for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
» Suzuki Records 8th Season of 100 runs, 200 Hits
» Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao to Announce Mega-Fight
» Tim Kawakami and John Herrera Nearly Come to Blows
» South Koreans Buy U.S. Real Estate
» UN to Help Sri Lanka’s Displaced by Rebel War
» Beijing Limits Car Use to Improve Air Quality

Compiled by Josh Laddin, Justine Rivero and Sye-Ok Sato

AsianWeek Market Report

AsianWeek Market Report
Asian Stock Indexes
NIKKEI 225 Tokyo 11,743.61 -149.55 -1.26%
HANG SENG Hong Kong 17,880.68 -801.41 -4.29%
KRX Busan 3,039.42 -40.03 -1.30%
SSE IX Shanghai 7,559.27 182.43 2.47%
BSE Bombay 12,595.75 -506.43 -3.87%
HOSE Ho Chi Minh 479.00 -4.81 -0.99%
SET Bangkok 601.29 -17.68 -2.86%
Asian American Market Report
Yahoo! YHOO 17.25 -1.67 (-8.83%)
Citigroup C 18.86 -1.29 (-6.40%)
Amkor Technology, Inc AMKR 6.27 -0.80 (-11.32%)
Sybase SY 29.90 -2.72 (-8.34%)
UnionBancal Corp UB 73.45 0.15 (0.20%)
East West Bank corp,Inc EWBC 13.14 -2.07 (-13.61%)

NATION

60th Anniversary of Oyama vs. California

Kajiro and Fred Oyama took the State of California to court when the state tried to take away eight acres of land the family legally owned. It was during World War II and the Alien Land Law made it illegal for people without the right to U.S. citizenship to own farmland. This was aimed at the Japanese who owned 100,000 acres of farmland in 1910. Kajiro Oyama had bought the land for his young son who was an American citizen.

The case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court with the help of civil rights lawyers. The Supreme Court made a ruling in the family’s favor. While it didn’t overturn the Alien Land Law, it decreed that race-based laws had to meet “strict scrutiny.” In 1952, citizenship laws were changed so that no one was excluded based on their nationality.

— San Diego Union-Tribune

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Indiana University Establishes Asian American Studies

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — As part of a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Indiana University’s Asian Culture Center, the university announced that it has approved the establishment of an Asian American Studies Program.

In 2001, the Asian Culture Center brought together faculty and students to formulate a detailed proposal for an Asian American studies program as part of its advocacy mission. The proposal for the Asian American Studies Program was unanimously approved in fall 2002, and the next year a colloquium series was organized to foster intellectual discussions on Asian American issues on campus as a precursor to the program’s establishment.

The new program will first offer an undergraduate minor in Asian American studies, with an undergraduate major and Ph.D. minor to be developed in subsequent years. Joan Pong Linton, an IU associate professor of English and an Asian American originally from Hong Kong, has agreed to serve as the interdisciplinary program’s interim director.

—WANE.com

BAY/CALIFORNIA

Japanese Yoga Helps Richmond Adults Learn

For an hour a week, textbooks take a backseat and computers sit idle. Desks and chairs are pushed aside. The boom box comes out of the corner. The students in Richmond’s adult-literacy program shift to the center of the room, stretching and bouncing to the beat of James Brown. Instructors here are trying something to help students’ focus that never has been attempted before in a GED class: Japanese yoga.

Japanese yoga is the colloquial name for a light, no-impact aerobics formally known as “relax taiso.” Japanese martial artist Koichi Tohei developed relax taiso to unify the mind and body and help people relax, gain better stability and improve concentration.

Richmond is the first place the exercise has been introduced in a GED class to help students concentrate. In the mornings, more than a dozen adults stand arm’s length apart in a classroom in the city’s Employment and Training Building. There are no colorful exercise mats, just carpet. There are no martial arts robes, just T-shirts, basketball jerseys, jeans and whatever else the students feel comfortable in.

— Contra Costa Times

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Los Angeles Court Asks Governor to Sign Legislation for Civil Court Interpreters

LOS ANGELES — Governor Schwarzenegger has an opportunity to ensure that millions of Californians have greater access to justice in our state’s court system by signing legislation to provide court-appointed interpreters in civil cases for indigent parties, Los Angeles judicial leaders and community legal organizations.

Representatives of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County and Bet Tzedek Legal Services gathered in support of AB 3050 and were joined by the bill’s author, Assembly Member Dave Jones.

The courts do not currently provide interpreters for civil cases. For Californians who need language assistance, the prospect of navigating the legal system is daunting, especially for the growing number of people in our family courts and other cases who have no choice but to appear in court without an attorney. And the court system suffers if court orders are based on incomplete or erroneous information, or if the parties cannot understand and comply with court orders.

The Governor has until September 30 to act on the legislation.

ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

Nam Le Recognized by the National Book Foundation

Nam Le’s The Boat will be recognized by the National Book Foundation at the “5 Under 35” celebration at Tribeca Cinemas on Monday, November 17. A previous National Book Award Finalist or Winner selected the five young fiction writers. Mary Gaitskill, the 2005 Fiction Finalist for Veronica, selected Le.

He has received the Pushcart prize, the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award and is currently the fiction editor of the Harvard Review. The Boat is his fiction debut. Le’s book has been highly lauded, with the San Francisco Chronicle reviewer saying “You may never have heard of Nam Le, but with the publication of his first collection of short stories…you can expect to hear much more about him in the future…. Not yet 30, he is already an extraordinarily accomplished and sophisticated writer.”

— National Book Foundation

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Tea Master to Retire

Last week, Hisashi Yamada taught his final class on the traditional tea ceremony, which has been his lifework. For more than four decades, he has taught thousands of students at his school devoted to the study of tea. His life wasn’t always so serene. He once thought to be a kamikaze pilot. Japan ran out of planes before his turn. After the war, he became interested in tea and became a certified tea master.

According to Yamada, about 400 years ago a man named Sen Rikyu elevated the tea ceremony to an art. There are two types of ceremonies: thick tea and thin tea. During a thick tea ceremony, which can last for four hours, talking is not permitted. At a thin tea ceremony, only talking about the ceremony is allowed. The Urasenke tea school has a waiting list for students.

— NY Times

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Lisa Ling Reports on Scary Rise of Heroin in Small-Town America

Popular daytime show The View featured Lisa Ling, news correspondent and former co-host of the show, promoting upcoming specials on television’s Oprah and Nightline. Both shows will be airing two important reports on the heroin epidemic sweeping small, Midwest communities. Ling further discussed her part in the ABC New Nightline special.

Both specials will air Monday, Sept 29.

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ASHA to Host Book Release for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

NEW YORK — Asian Women’s Self Help Association (ASHA) is celebrating domestic violence awareness month this October by hosting the book release for Shoban Bantwal’s The Forbidden Daughter, a tale of young Indian mother trying to protect her unborn daughter from infanticide.

“Researching my mainstream women’s fiction novels has helped me better understand many of the issues like domestic violence facing South Asian women living here and in their home countries,” Bantwal said. “Writing novels like ‘The Forbidden Daughter’ and ‘The Dowry Bride’ has enabled me to introduce these issues to American audiences.”

Born and raised in India, Bantwal released her first novel, The Dowry Bride, about a young Indian woman who flees her marriage after overhearing her mother-in-law’s plot to kill her, in 2007 through publishing house Kensington. For nearly 20 years, ASHA for Women has been committed to providing culturally specific, multi-lingual support and referral services to South Asian women in need.

— India Post

SPORTS

Suzuki Records 8th Season of 100 runs, 200 Hits

SEATTLE — Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has matched Lou Gehrig’s record with his eighth season of at least 200 hits and 100 runs.

Suzuki scored his 100th run of the season in the third inning Friday night against Oakland on Raul Ibanez’s RBI single. Suzuki, who has 209 hits, achieved the 200-hit, 100-run mark for the eighth consecutive season.

Suzuki had two hits and scored the decisive run as the Seattle Mariners rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, completing their first home series sweep of the year and ending a pair of forgettable seasons.

Suzuki finished the season batting .310, his 15th consecutive season above .300 between Japan and the major leagues.

“His discipline is incredible,” fellow corner outfielder Raul Ibanez said. “Nobody knows their swing, their approach better. It’s amazing.”

— Seattle Times

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Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao to Announce Mega-Fight

LOS ANGELES — Boxing superstars Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao will each make one of the biggest announcements of their respective careers when they officially announce their December 6 mega-fight at one of the most cherished landmarks in the United States — the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York City. The press event, the first ever to take place on Liberty Island, will kick off a six-city press tour.

“Although I am from the Philippines, the United States has given me the greatest opportunity to advance my career and financial security for my family and me,” said Pacquiao. “Many Filipinos and some of my family members live there and the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of the great opportunities offered by the United States to the rest of the world.”

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Tim Kawakami and John Herrera Nearly Come to Blows

OAKLAND, Calif. — After a recent Oakland Raiders press conference, Mercury News football beat reporter Tim Kawakami and Raiders Senior Executive John Herrera got into an argument about Kawakami’s column.

Herrera accused Kawakami of basing his recent article about the planned firing of head coach Lane Kiffin on lies. Cameras were still rolling from a news conference regarding Kiffin when Kawakami and Herrera went at it.

Herrera said, “You built a whole column on a lie! So did Lowell Cohn. So did your pot-smoking buddy Mike Silver.” Kawakami responded by saying, “You’re embarrassing yourself,” to which Herrera replied, “I don’t care!”

At one point, Tim Kawakami asks Herrera “You want to punch me?” “I’d love to,” Herrera says.

It was a heated exchange although now blows were through.

— Groundreport.com

COMMERCE

South Koreans Buy U.S. Real Estate

LOS ANGELES — Rapidly falling home prices are attracting buyers from South Korea into the Southern California housing market. The Korean buyers, convinced that home prices have hit bottom, purchase property as an investment. Houses in Los Angeles or Orange County suburbs near good public schools are in demand.

According to the newspaper, tour companies are capitalizing on the trend by teaming up with local Korean American real estate firms to offer real-estate-buying tours. Unlike U.S. buyers who rely on bank loans to fund their purchase, these South Koreans often buy houses in cash.

— Korean Daily

GLOBAL

UN to Help Sri Lanka’s Displaced by Rebel War

The United Nations in Sri Lanka says it will soon send food to 230,000 civilians displaced by fighting in the rebel-held north.

The World Food Program (WFP) now has permission to enter the Tamil Tiger-controlled Wanni district this week to deliver badly needed supplies to civilians. A UN spokesman said that 60 trucks would take 800 tons of food to the region soon.

The move comes as the army says that it is moving closer towards capturing the rebels’ administrative capital of Kilinochchi after “intensive fighting.” So far, 70,000 people have been killed in one of South Asia’s longest wars. The UN estimates that hundreds of thousands more have been displaced around the rebel strongholds of Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu in recent weeks.

The convoy begins the government’s proposed strategy to ensure that there was enough food supplies available to displaced people in Wanni.

— BBC

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Beijing Limits Car Use to Improve Air Quality

BEIJING — China’s capital will keep one-third of the local government’s vehicles off its roads and impose restrictions on other cars in a bid to clean up the city’s notoriously polluted air. The new measures include limiting all cars to driving only four out of the five weekdays, with the forbidden day for each vehicle determined by the last number of its license plate, the government announced Sunday.

Political inclination to clean up Beijing’s environment has strengthened since the usually polluted city experienced two months of clear skies thanks to special measures taken for the Olympics and Paralympics. The government stopped construction at the city’s hundreds of building sites, suspended production at hundreds of factories and implemented traffic restrictions. The city’s air quality in August was the best in a decade. Government officials have been meeting with environmentalists and industry representatives to figure out what could be done to maintain progress made for the Olympics as factories and construction sites resume work.

The restrictions will start early next month and last for six months as officials assess their impact.

— Wall Street Journal

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