Daily Dose: 9/30/08

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» AsianWeek Market Report
» Fired Teachers Backed by Court
» Akaka’s Cost-of-Living Increase for Veterans Now Law
» Physicist Charged With Selling Information to China
» Bronx Deliveryman Fengwang Chen Shot in the Head, Likely to Survive
» CAA and Partner Groups Hosting Candidate Forum for District Three Race
» Alameda Welcomes Sister City Delegates From China
» Asian American Graphic Novel Tour
» New ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Set in Chinatown Draws Ire For Drug Dealers
» List of Best Asian American Athletes
» Choo Named AL’s Best in September
» Mariners Hint They Could Hire Kim Ng as GM
» Wells Fargo Promotes Jimmy Kwan To
Senior Sales Director
» Cadbury in Hong Kong Chocolate Recall
» New Formula Helps Predict Immigration Patterns

Compiled by Josh Laddin and Andrew Lee
AsianWeek Market Report

AsianWeek Market Report
Asian Stock Indexes
NIKKEI 225 Tokyo 11,259.86 -483.75 -4.12%
HANG SENG Hong Kong 18,016.21 135.53 0.76%
KRX Busan 3,015.65 -23.77 -0.78%
SSE IX Shanghai 9,429.50 -395.77 -4.03%
BSE Bombay 15,696.90 301.08 1.96%
HOSE Ho Chi Minh 456.70 -22.30 -4.66%
SET Bangkok 596.54 -4.75 -0.79%
Asian American Market Report
Yahoo! YHOO 17.24 0.28 (0.31%)
Citigroup C 21.03 3.28 (18.37%)
Amkor Technology, Inc AMKR 6.37 .07 (1.11%)
Sybase SY 30.29 0.45 (1.51%)
UnionBancal Corp UB 73.31 -0.03 (-0.04%)
East West Bank corp,Inc EWBC 13.68 -0.44 (3.32%)

NATION

Fired Teachers Backed by Court

Three teachers who were fired by their school district for not demonstrating “fluency in English” were granted back pay and reinstatement by a state appeals court in Massachusetts. The court unanimously upheld decisions by an arbitrator and state trial court that the Lowell school district had violated the teachers’ procedural rights and failed to follow state guidelines. The teachers were fired after failing several oral English proficiency exams. The tests became mandatory after a ballot question requiring public schoolteachers to be fluent in English was approved by voters.

Lawyers argued that the ballot question did not define “fluency” or say only non-native English teachers had to demonstrate proficiency. The three tenured teachers were fired in 2003. Two were Cambodian refugees and the third Puerto Rican. Vong Oung, Vandy Duch and Pedro Espada fought the dismissal with the help of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

— Lowell Sun

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Akaka’s Cost-of-Living Increase for Veterans Now Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after S. 2617, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2008, was signed into law by the President today. S. 2617, introduced by Chairman Akaka, will provide for a cost-of-living increase in compensation for veterans and their families, effective December 1, 2008, so as to protect the benefits from the impact of rising inflation.

“In this time of rising costs and a faltering economy, we must not allow inflation to eat into the compensation of disabled veterans or their survivors. The failure to pass a cost-of-living adjustment would, as inflation rises, be a reduction of the benefits they receive. I commend my colleagues for supporting this important legislation.”

“I am proud to have sponsored this legislation for all veterans, including the more than 17,000 Hawaii recipients of veterans’ disability compensation and survivor benefits.”

This year’s cost-of-living increase, which will be equal to the annual Social Security increase, has yet to be determined.

— Hawaii Reporter

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Physicist Charged With Selling Information to China

NORFOLK, Va. — An internationally recognized scientist in Newport News has been arrested and charged with violating federal arms controls by illegally exporting launch data to help China’s space program.

Quan-Sheng Shu, 68, is the president, secretary and treasurer of AMAC International, a research and development company based at the Applied Research Center, a commercial building adjacent to Jefferson Lab. He was arrested in Newport News by federal agents and appeared in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk Wednesday, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

The Kiln Creek resident faces a possible sentence of 10 years in prison for each violation of the Arms Export Control Act and five years in prison for violating the corrupt practices act.

— The Daily Press

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Bronx Deliveryman Fengwang Chen Shot in the Head, Likely to Survive

NEW YORK — A Chinese food deliveryman was shot in the head Saturday by Bronx robbers who got away with nothing, police sources said. Fengwang Chen, 31, was delivering a $22 order to a three-family home on E. 229th St. in Williamsbridge when he was cornered about 7:20 p.m., the sources said. “Apparently they fought him for the food,” a police source said. “Somebody placed a food order to the address, but nobody there said they ordered it. We believe it was two persons who waylayed him.”

Fengwang Chen, a married father of two young children who lives in Brooklyn, was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center. A bullet entered behind his ear and lodged in his jaw, but sources said he would likely survive.

Police say they had a solid lead in the shooting.

— New York Daily News

BAY/CALIFORNIA

CAA and Partner Groups Hosting Candidate Forum for District Three Race

SAN FRANCISCO — Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and over a dozen other organizations will host one of the largest candidate forums in District Three specifically for the APA community. Attendance is confirmed from all the leading candidates for District Three Supervisor, including frontrunner Joseph Alioto Jr and three Asian American candidates: Claudine Cheng, David Chiu and Wilma Pang.

The goal of the forum is to help educate voters in the community on important issues and to encourage them to participate in the civic process. In addition, CAA will be providing information on and the opportunity to register to vote for the November 4 election, in an effort to reduce the estimated 80,000 Asian Americans in San Francisco who are eligible to vote but not currently registered.

The forum will be held on Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny Street from 7:00—9:00 p.m.

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Alameda Welcomes Sister City Delegates From China

ALAMEDA, Calif. — City Hall will go global Wednesday afternoon when young lion dancers from the choir at Alameda’s Chinese Christian school will perform during a ceremony to welcome the arrival of Alameda’s Sister City’s delegates from Jiangyin in China.

Jim Franz, a former member of the Alameda Social Services Human Relations Board and current director of community services for American Red Cross Bay Area, said Sister City relationships nurture cultural and business exchanges between the two cities’ communities. Sister City partnerships’ specific mission is to promote citizen-to-citizen diplomacy, Franz said.

The ongoing relationship between the two cities will be formalized Thursday, when both towns’ representatives sign the official Sister City Agreement at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave. A reception follows and the public is invited to both events.

— Alameda Times-Star

ARTS /ENTERTAINMENT

Asian American Graphic Novel Tour

The first-ever graphic novel anthology of Asian American superheroes is coming out in April 2009, and book tour plans are afoot. Many of the top Asian American artists in the comics industry—including Gene Yang, Bernard Chang, Greg Pak, Sonny Liew, Greg LaRocque, Christine Norrie and Francis Tsai—and new and established creators from film (Mike Kang), television (Keiko Agena) and literature are involved.

They are currently seeking colleges and universities to host book events during APA Heritage Month. Secret Identities’ potential programming includes discussion on the stories inspired by actual events/people, such as atomic bombs and internment camps, and a 30-minute documentary with the stories shown as animated films.

— Secretidentities.org

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New ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Set in Chinatown Draws Ire For Drug Dealers

Earlier this week, news broke that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars—the forthcoming DS rendition of Rockstar’s immensely popular crime series—would feature a drug-selling mini-game, where players could earn money peddling six different kinds of narcotics around town.

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t going over very well with anti-drug organizations. “Anything using drug-dealing as entertainment is sending out the wrong message,” said Darren Gold, on behalf of the Drugsline organization. “Glamorization doesn’t help our work trying to educate kids of the dangers of substance misuse.”

In Chinatown Wars, players will sell weed, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, acid and downers. “We wanted to have a drug-dealing mini-game in lots of the GTA games,” said Rockstar Vice President Dan Houser to Edge Magazine.

Whether or not the game will actually glamorize drug-dealing, as Gold suggests, remains to be seen—but based on past GTA games, Rockstar doesn’t always go out of their way to emphasize stark consequences for in-game law-breaking. Still, the developer—which is no stranger to controversy—probably expected this feature to be met with backlash from anti-drug organizations.

— PC Magazine

SPORTS

List of Best Asian American Athletes

SAN FRANCISCO — The Examiner publishes a list of the “best” Asian American athletes. Included in the list are the ones that come immediately to mind like Yao Ming and baseball player Ichiro Suzuki.

The others are golfer Yani Tseng; the first Hawaiian to play for the World Cup, Brian Ching; Korean and African American football player Hines Ward, a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers; the #2 starter for the Boston Red Sox, Daisuke Matsuzaka, golfer Vijay Singh; Yi Jianlian, power forward for the Nets; and “Cablinasian” Tiger Woods.

The writer establishes “Asian-American” athletes as athletes with Asian ancestry in any major American sport. He also excludes Samoan athletes for their proliferation in the NFL.

— The Examiner

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Choo Named AL’s Best in September

CLEVELAND — Shin-Soo Choo’s season is done, but he’ll walk away with one final nod. The Cleveland outfielder was named the Sharp Presents the American League Player of the Month for September. It is the first such award for Choo.

Choo was productive in his 24 games this past month, posting a .400 batting average with five home runs and 24 RBIs. The 26-year-old also scored 21 runs and posted a .659 slugging percentage while getting on base 46 percent of the time in September. “He’s had a big impact on our ball club,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s a complete player and he can help you win in multiple ways.”

Choo finished the year with a .309 average, 14 homers, 28 doubles and 66 RBIs in 94 games while posting an on-base percentage of .397 and slugging .549. His 98 hits this season—all while recovering from Tommy John elbow-ligament construction on this left elbow—were the most by a Korean-born player.

— MLB.com

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Mariners Hint They Could Hire Kim Ng as GM

SEATTLE — Mariners President Chuck Armstrong said his team is vetting a wide range of general manager candidates, pointedly leaving open the possibility of Seattle hiring the first female general manager in major league history. Highly regarded Los Angeles Dodgers Assistant GM Kim Ng is considered an option.

The 39-year-old Ng has had her job for seven seasons and was a top adviser to New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman before that. She was believed to be the final candidate beaten out by Ned Colletti when Los Angeles selected a new GM in 2005, and the Dodgers say she is the first woman to ever interview for a GM job. She may be getting a second interview soon.

“It’s time for some fresh thinking,” Armstrong said at the end of his 23rd season with the team—which he called his worst and most “miserable” one. “We’re color blind, gender blind,” he went on to say. “We just want the best person that we think would be the best person for the Mariners as we move forward,” Armstrong said.

— AP

COMMERCE

Wells Fargo Promotes Jimmy Kwan To
 Senior Sales Director

SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo today announced Vice President Jimmy Kwan has been promoted to senior sales director to lead client service and sales efforts for the San Francisco Bay Area region’s mass affluent households.

Prior to his new role, Kwan served as sales director and was responsible for coaching, developing and hiring private and licensed bankers. Kwan began his career at Wells Fargo in 1992 as a personal banker. He is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin and is extremely active in the San Francisco Chinese community. Kwan earned his B.S. in business management and his M.B.A. in international business management in 1991.

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GLOBAL

Cadbury in Hong Kong Chocolate Recall

HONG KONG — Preliminary tests have found melanine in Cadbury’s Chinese-made chocolates, the company says.

At least 50,000 Chinese babies have fallen ill and four been killed by milk tainted with the industrial chemical. Cadbury had earlier recalled 11 chocolate types from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia because of fears of contamination. It remains unclear how much melanine was in the recalled products, a Cadubry spokesman told the BBC, who emphasized the only goods affected were those made in the company’s Beijing factory and not those produced in the UK or elsewhere.

China’s reputation for food safety has nosedived since the revelations last month that milk products poisoned by melanine were responsible for causing renal problems in babies who drank the milk formula.

— BBC News

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New Formula Helps Predict Immigration Patterns

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scientists have devised a formula to allow countries to predict immigration trends, according to a study published on Monday. The new mathematical model is based on a detailed study of the flow of people into 11 countries including the United States, Britain and Australia from 1960 to 2004, a team led by Joel Cohen of the Rockefeller University in New York said. The formula looks at factors such as population size and density of the countries people are leaving as well as those they are entering and the distance between those places.

With low fertility rates in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, immigration has become an increasingly important factor in population changes worldwide. Existing models used by the United Nations and others to predict population flows has been inadequate, said Cohen.

The formula was based on data from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

— Reuters

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