DAILY NEWS BRIEF: Accusations, independent voters, and photographers

Latest news: The CBS 60 Minutes program devotes a segment on two American citizens – Xiaoxing Xi and Sherry Chen – who were falsely and abruptly charged with spying based on inadequate and erroneous evidence. An opinion piece in U.S News & World Report raises the political problems of treating the Asian American electorate as a monolithic voting block — almost half identifies as independents. For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, NBC Los Angeles features photographer Nick Ut, whose iconic image of a Vietnamese girl running naked after a napalm attack helped changed the country’s support for the Vietnam War. The New York Times reviews a book of photographs by Seattle photographer Dean Wong who over many decades recorded the daily lives of Chinatown residents to reveal personal stories that puncture exotic stereotypes.

Learn more:

  • [CBS 60 Minutes] U.S. fight against Chinese espionage ensnares innocent Americans: “The U.S. Justice Department bungled the economic espionage case against Xiaoxing Xi. It investigated him for contact with Chinese scientists that was required by his U.S. funded research grants. Now cleared, Xi, a naturalized citizen of the U.S., fears the false accusations may have lingering repercussions on his promising career.” Watch episode
  • [US News & World Report] Moving Beyond Bubble Tea: “Although Obama won every segment of the Asian-American electorate in 2012, the degree to which these distinct ethnic communities supported him varied by more than 23 percentage points between Indian-Americans (84 percent) and Vietnamese-Americans (61 percent)” Read more
  • [NBC Los Angeles] Photographer Changes History One Image at a Time: “Ut, a Vietnamese-American, is best known for being the man behind the lens of the image that historians believe had a role in ending the Vietnam War. That image is of a young girl running naked down a dirt road, desperately trying to escape a napalm attack on the village where she lived.” Read more
  • [New York Times] Why Chinatown Still Matters: “Juxtaposing photographs with short, anecdotal essays, the book serves as a powerful corrective to decades of one-dimensional and blinkered reporting on neighborhoods generally represented in the cultural mainstream as exotic, insular or irrelevant, as places to order a quick meal or marvel at the colorful rituals of the Chinese New Year.” Read more

Photo credit: “Hing Hay Park, Chinatown-International District, Seattle” by Ador Pereda Yano 2015

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