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Andrew Yang: ‘ SNL ‘ Lose Job Over ‘ Cheap Shot ‘ Jokes Cast Member Should not

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Andrew Yang offers to meet fresh cast member of the “Saturday Night Live” Shane Gillis about his use of racist Asian jokes — including one targeting the Democratic presidential candidate— and argues that the actor should not be cut off from the show.

“I prefer comedy for individuals to believe and not take inexpensive shots. But I’m pleased to sit down and speak to you if you like, “he wrote in a Saturday tweet responding to a Gillis post announced as one of the recent additions to the program previously this week.

Yang, who is Asian, added that he should be shown forgiveness instead of penalizing Gillis by shooting him.

“I don’t believe he ought to lose his work for the record,” he said. “We’d profit from being more forgiving than punitive. We’re all human. “I don’t believe he should lose his work for the record. We’d profit from being more forgiving than punitive. All of us are human.

Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 14, 2019 On Thursday, just after news broke that Gillis would be SNL’s regular freelance comedy journalist Seth Simmons tweeted footage of a 2018 podcast interview in which Gillis utilizes slur “chinks” to portray Chinese individuals and mock their speech.

Hours after the video appeared online, drawing backlash, Gillis released a nonapology in which he failed to recognize unambiguously that his comments were offensive.

“I’m a comedian pushing limits,” he said. “I sometimes miss.” Continuing, Gillis said he’s “pleased to apologize to anyone who’s genuinely offended by anything I’ve said.” “My purpose is never to hurt anyone but I’m attempting to be the greatest comedian I can be and sometimes it takes risks.” On Friday, Vice reported that Gillis used the slur again while targeting Yang on the podcast released in May, calling the applicant a “Jew Chi.”

Read More: Trevor Harris Hopes to Stay in Ottawa as Free Agency Looms

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Rajesh is a freelancer with a background in e-commerce marketing. Having spent her career in startups, He specializes in strategizing and executing marketing campaigns.

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What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Sept 17 – 26

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What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Sept 17 – 26
Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn in Netflix’s Sex Education. Sam Taylor/NETFLIX

As fall draws closer and the sun sets earlier, it’s becoming more and more tempting to burrow oneself under a blanket and binge-watch the night away. The streaming service powers that be are taking that into account, and they’re delivering a variety of content to suit all your viewing needs. Whether you’re looking for a chill competition show perfect for the upcoming hibernation, a juicy globe-trotting international drama, or an addictive new television series, this week’s list of what to stream has got you covered.

What to watch on Netflix:

Sex Education

This secondary school-set show has garnered acclaim in its past two seasons for its frank discussions about sex and sexuality for teens and adults alike. But that’s not to say that Sex Education has no room for fun. The series revolves around awkward teen Otis and his clueless classmates as they navigate the complex world of teenaged relationships and hormones, with help from Otis’ outspoken sex therapist mother. The series has proved to be a fan favorite over the years on Netflix, making now the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. Sex Education Season 3 premieres on September 17. [Editor’s Note: Season 3 is an absolute delight that I highly recommend]

Nailed It!

The conceit of this popular reality competition show is relatively straightforward: three amateur bakers with middling-at-best skills compete to recreate complex, show-stopping treats in the hopes of winning $10,000 and a trophy. If shows like The Great British Bake Off are a tad too stressful for you, then Nailed It! should be a welcome alternative. Plus, Emmy-nominated host Nicole Byer will supply more than enough sugary sweet puns to keep you laughing through the season. Nailed It! Season 6 premiered earlier this week on Netflix.

What to watch on Hulu:

Riders of Justice

International star Mads Mikkelsen adds another high-profile Danish movie to his filmography with Riders of Justice. The movie focuses on Mikkelsen’s Markus, who discovers that the death of his wife in a train accident may have been the result of foul play. With this suspicion, he takes the increasingly violent investigation into his own hands. This darkly funny revenge flick not only packs a literal punch, but it also lampoons the Taken-esque genre of male action heroes that has become so common in recent years. Riders of Justice premieres on Hulu on September 16.

Y: The Last Man

An adaptation of the beloved comic book, Y: The Last Man presents an intriguing premise: what would the world be like if every mammal with a Y chromosome dropped dead? The series follows Yorick, the last surviving cisgender male, as he and the people around him try to salvage society. The show is notable not only for its cast, from pitch-perfect veterans like Diane Lane to astounding newcomers like Ashley Romans, but for its updated sensibilities. The show recognizes how conversations around gender have changed since the comic’s publication in 2002, including a transgender male character played by trans actor Elliot Fletcher. Y: The Last Man premiered September 13, with new episodes arriving every Monday.

What to watch on Amazon Prime:

The Mad Women’s Ball

For the film festival crowd, The Mad Women’s Ball marks French star Mélanie Laurent’s return as a triple threat: actress, writer, and director. Like the title implies, much of the movie takes place in a women’s mental asylum in 19th century Paris, where protagonist Eugénie has been forcibly admitted by her family. Though she is helped by a nurse who is haunted by her own trauma, Eugénie must face the abuses enacted by a medical system that refuses to understand both women and mental illness. This turbulent period drama premieres September 17.

What to watch on HBO Max:

Scenes from a Marriage

HBO Max’s reimagining of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage has more to offer than just the irresistible chemistry between stars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac. This updated series seeks to confront the “emotional, physical, moral prices” of divorce in a way that rings true to a 21st century culture that has begun to question how feasible marriage really is. This five-part limited series should provide plenty of drama, heartbreak, and tears. Scenes from a Marriage premiered on HBO Max earlier this month, with new episodes coming out on Sundays.

Cry Macho

Clint Eastwood is nothing if not productive. The 91-year-old has directed eight movies in the past ten years, and now he’s adding Cry Macho to that long list. Eastwood stars as Mike, an ex-rodeo star who’s tasked with helping to bring back a friend’s son from a sordid life in Mexico. The film should be an interesting return to the western genre for Eastwood, turning him from a skilled gunslinger to a grizzled, jaded cowboy. HBO Max has already done the courtesy of bringing several of Eastwood’s old spaghetti westerns to the platform this month, making Cry Macho the perfect addition to any western marathon. Cry Macho premieres in theaters and on HBO Max on September 17.


Keeping Watch is a regular endorsement of TV and movies worth your time.

What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Sept 17 – 26

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Elderly Asian man allegedly punched in face and his dog almost lit on fire in SF attack

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golden retriever almost gets set on fire

A 66-year-old laundromat owner was reportedly assaulted by a suspect who also attempted to set fire to the elderly man’s 8-year-old golden retriever in San Francisco last week.

The details: Police responded to the incident at the laundromat in Nob Hill at 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday and spoke with the elderly Asian man.

  • SF police described the incident in a statement, according to FOX, saying, “The victim told officers that he was walking his dog when he was approached by an unknown male suspect. The suspect held a lighter close to the victim’s dog. The victim asked the suspect what he was doing, and the suspect became verbally confrontational. The victim attempted to walk away but the suspect followed him. The suspect spit on the victim and punched him in the face.” 
  • The assailant fled the scene and the elderly man was rushed to a local hospital.
  • ABC 7’s Dion Lim was the first to report that the suspect attempted to set Cody the dog on fire. 

The support: Neighbors have visited to the laundromat owner and Cody, who likes to sit on top of the dryers, following the incident to let the duo know that they are loved.

  • “Something very touching was seeing a young woman stop by with flowers after she heard the news,” Lim tweeted. “The owner is okay— but was taken to the hospital & had his eye wound glued. The perp allegedly called the owner the ‘N’ word before punching him.”
  • A neighbor also reportedly rushed out with “a baseball bat” to help the owner during the attack.
  • No arrests have been made at this time, according to police.

Those with information are asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or anonymously text information to TIP411.

Featured Image via codytheretriever (left), @DionLimTV (right)

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Eastern Massachusetts high school scores and highlights from Wednesday

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Eastern Massachusetts high school scores and highlights from Wednesday

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Archbishop Williams 18, Arlington Catholic 45

Bishop Feehan 19, Archbishop Williams 44

Bishop Feehan 15, Arlington Catholic 50

Dartmouth 15, Durfee 50

Gloucester 20, Swampscott 37

Hopkinton 15, Norwood 45

Innovation 15, Notre Dame 50

Lowell 20, Methuen 41

Lowell Catholic 25, Shawsheen Tech 31

Medford 20, Malden 37

Mystic Valley 15, Nashoba Tech 40

Newburyport 20, North Reading 43

Norton 20, Bellingham 43

Somerville 16, Lynn English 47

Westwood 24, Ashland 31

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Archbishop Williams 21, Arlington Catholic 35

Bishop Feehan 17, Archbishop Williams 49

Bishop Feehan 16, Arlington Catholic 47

Central Catholic 27, Haverhill 30

Dartmouth 25, Durfee 34

Medford 23, Malden 35

Newburyport 19, North Reading 44

Norton 18, Bellingham 45

Somerville 15, Lynn English 50

Swampscott 22, Gloucester 39

Westwood 26, Ashland 30

FIELD HOCKEY

Andover 7, Dracut 0

Arlington 4, Dedham 1

Barnstable 7, Martha’s Vineyard 0

Bishop Feehan 6, Ursuline 0

Central Catholic 5, Haverhill 0

Falmouth 2, Notre Dame (H) 1

Hanover 2, Plymouth South 1

Hingham 5, Whitman-Hanson 1

King Philip 5, Stoughton 1

Leominster 3, Marlboro 1

Marshfield 1, Scituate 1

North Andover 6, Lowell 1

Plymouth North 3, Duxbury 1

Somerset Berkley 1, Apponequet 0

Tewksbury 1, Wilmington 1

Weston 2, Hopkinton 0

GOLF

Arlington Catholic 155, Bishop Feehan 142

Austin Prep 160, Archbishop Williams 170

Bishop Stang 167, Sandwich 143

Central Catholic 17, Dracut 3

Diman 5, Case 4

Dover-Sherborn 218, Hopkinton 240

Duxbury 223, Plymouth North 256

Gloucester 53, Winthrop 19

Hingham 236, Whitman-Hanson 306

Ipswich 98, Pentucket 75

North Middlesex 29, Tyngsboro 24

St. John Paul II 5, Sturgis East 1

St. Mary’s (L) 176, St. Joseph’s Prep 68

Scituate 239, Quincy 262

Swampscott 50, Saugus 22

Wellesley 117, Natick 94

Weymouth 94, Dedham 63

Xaverian 230, Bridgewater-Raynham 241

BOYS SOCCER

Austin Prep 3, St. Mary’s 2

Bishop Fenwick 8, Arlington Catholic 1

Cardinal Spellman 3, Bishop Stang 0

Cohasset 2, Middleboro 0

Dover-Sherborn 1, Bellingham 0

East Bridgewater 1, Bourne 0

Foxboro 0, Mansfield 0

Georgetown 2, Triton 0

Greater New Bedford 0, Old Rochester 0

Holliston 1, Westwood 0

Lynn Tech 2, Northeast 0

Manchester-Essex 3, Pentucket 2

Millis 3, Medway 2

Newburyport 6, Ipswich 0

Quincy 5, Randolph 0

Rivers 4, New Hampton 0

Rockland 2, West Bridgewater 0

Seekonk 3, Wareham 1

Somerset Berkley 10, Apponequet 3

Tewksbury 2, Wilmington 2

GIRLS SOCCER

Austin Prep 3, St. Mary’s (L) 1

Berwick 2, Tilton 0

Bishop Feehan 9, Archbishop Williams 0

Bourne 3, Case 2

Brooks 3, Deerfield Academy 0

Cohasset 2, Silver Lake 2

Dedham 0, Norton 0

Dighton-Rehoboth 3, Fairhaven 2

Dover-Sherborn 6, Bellingham 0

Foxboro 5, Mansfield 2

Georgetown 2, Triton 1

Hingham 6, Marshfield 1

Holliston 1, Westwood 1

Lynn Tech 2, Northeast 0

Mashpee 7, Hull 1

Medway 2, Millis 1

Newburyport 4, Ipswich 0

North Reading 4, Amesbury 0

Pentucket 3, Manchester-Essex 0

Waltham 8, Lawrence 0

SWIMMING AND DIVING

Andover 114, Central Catholic 72

VOLLEYBALL

Andover 3, Dracut 1

Arlington 3, Wakefield 2

Billerica 3, Westford Academy 1

Cardinal Spellman 3, Bishop Stang 0

Case 3, Bourne 2

Central Catholic 3, Lawrence 2

Duxbury 3, Plymouth North 0

East Boston 3, O’Bryant 2

Fairhaven 3, Dighton-Rehoboth 0

Greater Lawrence 3, Salem 1

Hanover 3, Plymouth North 1

Hingham 3, Scituate 0

Holbrook 3, South Shore Voke 0

Hopkinton 3, Barnstable 2

Ipswich 3, Triton 0

King Philip 3, Stoughton 0

Latin Academy 3, Boston English 0

Lowell 3. Methuen 0

Lowell Catholic 3, Matignon 1

Lynnfield 3, North Reading 0

Malden 3, Somerville 0

Melrose 3, Belmont 0

Newburyport 3, Pentucket 0

New Mission 3, Roxbury Prep 0

North Attleboro 3, Attleboro 1

North Quincy 3, Silver Lake 0

Old Rochester 3, Greater New Bedford 1

Pembroke 3, Marshfield 0

Quincy 3, Whitman-Hanson 1

Somerset Berkley 3, Apponequet 0

TechBoston 3, Madison Park 0

West Bridgewater 3, Brockton 0

Westport 3, Southeastern 0

Woburn 3, Stoneham 0

WEDNESDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

FIELD HOCKEY

Junior Kiera Cronin posted a shutout in net to help Bishop Feehan (3-0-2) lock down a 6-0 nonleague win over Ursuline.

Caroline Egan sniped a pair of goals, helping to power Plymouth North to a 3-1 victory over Patriot League rival Duxbury. … Shea Berigan found the back of the goal twice and Kyle Wilson stayed hot by adding another to lead Hingham (3-0) past Whitman-Hanson 5-1.

In the Cape and Islands League, Reagan Hicks racked up four goals, as Barnstable (2-1) coasted to a 7-0 blanking of Martha’s Vineyard.

Liv Beucler and Haley Carver finished with two goals each, while Emma Reilly tallied four assists to propel Andover (2-0) to a 7-0 shutout of Dracut in the Merrimack Valley Conference. … Brenna O’Brien rattled off four goals for North Andover en route to a 6-1 victory over Lowell. … Senior captain Sydney Moda buried a pair of goals and added a trio of assists, as Central Catholic (2-1) topped Haverhill 5-0.

BOYS SOCCER

In the South Coast Conference, Jared Rapoza erupted for four goals and tacked on two assists, as Somerset Berkley defeated Apponequet in a 10-3 romp.

Alex Kuzmich recorded a hat trick, as Cardinal Spellman (2-0) cruised past Bishop Stang 3-0 in the Catholic Central League. … Ryan Noci buried three goals to pair up with Mehdi Khemmich’s two goals and four assists as Bishop Fenwick coasted to an 8-1 win over Arlington Catholic.

Jared Rapoza erupted for four goals with two assists and Cam Freitas added a hat trick to power Somerset Berkley to a 10-3 win over Apponequet in South Coast Conference play.

Naderson Curtis finished with two goals, as Manchester Essex edged Pentucket 3-2 in Cape Ann League play. … Graham Billington left his mark with a pair of goals, as Georgetown defeated Triton 2-0.

Senior forward Alex Kuzmich notched a hat-trick for Cardinal Spellman (2-0) in a 3-0 victory over nonleague opponent Bishop Stang.

GIRLS SOCCER

Mikayla Perez had a game-winner goal in the second half and Delaney Condon had a goal and an assist as Medway edged Millis 2-1 in the Tri-Valley League.

Maddie DiNapoli had a hand in all four of North Reading’s goals, scoring twice and assisting on two in a 4-0 Cape Ann League win over Amesbury.

Freshman Talar Bedrossian registered a pair of goals, as Waltham rolled to an 8-0 victory over Lawrence in the Dual County League.

VOLLEYBALL

Madi Franz notched 13 kills and 10 aces to propel Lowell Catholic (2-1) to a 3-1 Catholic Central win over Matignon.

Melanie Gildea erupted for 23 kills and Cathryn Leighton dished out 41 assists to help Hopkinton (4-0) grind out a 3-2 nonleague win over Barnstable.

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Rejected State Fair art featured in show at Lowertown’s AZ Gallery

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Rejected State Fair art featured in show at Lowertown’s AZ Gallery

The Fine Arts Show at the Minnesota State Fair is called the state’s largest juried art exhibition. It usually features 300 or more works from thousands entered by artists across Minnesota.

A little math indicates that a leaves behind a lot of “rejected art.” Some of those pieces are on display through Sept. 26 in the annual “Rejected Exhibition” at AZ Gallery in Lowertown St. Paul. This year’s show has photography, paintings and some sculptures.

Organizer Jeff Henningsgaard explains in an email: “It all began when local photographers started posting their rejected images on social media. Some amazing images were shared and it was a great way for the community to rally around fellow artists and give support. The idea of starting their own show was brought up and Tomas Alvarez and (I) took on the challenge. This year, the show has opened to all types of art media, bringing a new excitement to the Minnesota art community. Painting, sculpture, mixed media and, of course, photography are all now included.” This is the fifth year for the exhibition, which took a COVID break in 2020.

The Rejected Exhibition is running in conjunction with The Art Bike Show curated by artist Amy Clark, which features classic bikes and art that celebrates all things on two wheels.

AZ Gallery is located at 308 Prince St. The exhibition is open during gallery hours: 5-8 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For info: theazgallery.org.

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21% of children hospitalized with COVID require ICU care, study finds

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21% of children hospitalized with COVID require ICU care, study finds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A pediatric study released on Wednesday found that nearly one out of every four children admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 required ICU care.

“That’s higher than I think most people would expect,” said Dr. James Antoon, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Dr. Antoon worked on the study that included close to 20,000 pediatric patients from 45 children’s hospitals around the country between April to September 2020.

“More than half of children admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 did not have underlying health conditions,” said Antoon. “However, those with underlying health conditions and very specific comorbidities had a much higher risk of severe disease.”

Among those hospitalized, the study found a greater disease severity was associated with Black or other non-White children.

Age also played a factor. “Children who are older than 12, who are eligible for the vaccine, were among those who were the highest risk of having severe COVID disease,” said Antoon.

Sick to the point of requiring critical care and assistance breathing.

Overall, Dr. Antoon said younger children needed the most hospital care. “A concerning part of this study is that 70% of children who are hospitalized are not eligible for the vaccine. They’re younger than 12 and we need to protect those children.”

There is some good news as the study found deaths to be rare. But Dr. Antoon said parents need to be aware of the long-term effects the virus can cause.

“We know that children, more so than adults, are more likely to get what we call MIS-C disease or inflammatory disorder after their COVID, even weeks and weeks after their COVID is gone.”

This is why Dr. Antoon says now more research needs to be done to explore symptoms of long COVID in children.

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Arrests made in robbery of prospective St. Louis Blues player at Arch grounds

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Prospective St. Louis Blues player robbed at gunpoint on the Arch grounds Monday

ST. LOUIS – Two people are charged with robbery after holding up a man and woman at gunpoint at the St. Louis Arch Monday night.

One of the victims, a 20-year-old man, is a prospective player for the St. Louis Blues. The team says that he is in town for rookie camp.

The two men, a 19-year-old and an 18-year-old, were arrested for robbery and armed criminal action. Warrants are being applied for at the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

Police say one of the two charged demanded that the victims give him their cellphones, vehicle keys, wallet, and purse. He then ran away. The victims were not injured.

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Planned Parenthood shooting suspect ruled incompetent in federal case, too

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Planned Parenthood shooting suspect ruled incompetent in federal case, too

A federal judge on Thursday declared the suspect in a 2015 mass shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic to be mentally incompetent, ending the prosecution’s hope that a criminal case brought in federal court could go forward after the state’s case had stalled.

Robert Dear, 63, has admitted to killing three people at the clinic, but the state’s case against him stalled beginning in 2016 after he repeatedly was found mentally incompetent to proceed — that is, he could not comprehend the criminal case against him or participate in his own defense.

Federal prosecutors brought 68 criminal counts against Dear in late 2019 in an attempt to move forward with criminal proceedings. While the standards for determining mental competency in federal court are nearly identical to Colorado’s standards, federal courts have a reputation for finding incompetency less frequently than state courts.

On Thursday, Senior Judge Robert Blackburn declared Dear incompetent in a brief hearing at the Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse in Denver. The finding of incompetency was not contested by the prosecution or defense, though Dear himself disagreed.

“I’m opposing it; I’m not crazy,” he shouted at one point, appearing via video feed from a mental health facility in Missouri with his attorney.

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‘China’s richest woman’ missing for years suddenly reemerges in ‘threatening’ phone calls to family

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China's richest woman reappeared

A real estate mogul dubbed “China’s richest woman” before her sudden disappearance in 2017 has recently reached out to her ex-husband.

Ascent to wealth: Weihong Duan, who also goes by her English nickname “Whitney,” became a billionaire through Taihong, the real estate development firm she founded in 1996. She ran the company until she mysteriously vanished on Sept. 5, 2017.

  • Duan reportedly grew up in a one-room apartment in a small town in Shandong province. She charted her path out of poverty through hard work — graduating at the top of her class at the state-controlled Nanjing Polytechnic Institute and later landing a job as executive assistant to the university president.
  • The job brought Duan in close proximity to Chinese authorities. Over time, she mastered the skills necessary to maintain good relations with high-profile people. “She learned how to alter her attitude, tone of voice and language depending on her interlocutor,” her ex-husband, Desmond Shum, told the New York Post. “Nanjing Polytechnic was closely associated with the People’s Liberation Army, so she also got a crash course in handling military officers.”
  • Duan set out on her own in 1996 and launched Taihong. After a series of successful projects in Tianjin, the business moved to Beijing, where Duan met Shum — a Shanghai-born, U.S.-educated man with a background in finance.
  • Duan and Shum eventually married. As a couple, they pursued business opportunities together. Duan sought out investments and forged important connections, while Shum executed her vision into actual buildings.
Image via RFA

Where it went wrong: Duan’s downfall resulted from her ties to politicians whose influence in the Chinese Communist Party had deteriorated due to controversy. Among them is former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, whose family allegedly amassed $2.7 billion during his term, The New York Times reported in 2012.

  • Wen allegedly served as Duan’s silent partner when she bought stakes in a startup called Ping An Insurance Company. When the firm went public, Duan, through Taihong’s Hong Kong arm Great Ocean, reportedly sold her stake for $400 million, while Wen’s family ended up gaining $2.2 billion, a large chunk of their alleged $2.7 billion total wealth.
  • Duan became a billionaire when she built the Beijing Airport Cargo Terminal, China’s largest air cargo logistics facility, according to the New York Post. She allegedly did this in partnership with Sun Zhengcai, a Beijing official who would later be ousted from the Chinese Communist Party and sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery.
  • Sun was a contender for a top post in 2022 as either China’s general secretary, premier or even as a successor to President Xi Jinping. Duan served as one of his campaign managers, helping him “move his pieces on China’s political chessboard,” Shum said.
  • Xi, however, has expressed no plans of stepping down. In July 2017, Sun was fired as CCP’s chief in Chongqing. In September of the same year — the same month Duan disappeared — he was officially expelled from the party. In May 2018, he was convicted for taking $27 million in bribes and sentenced to life in jail, as per the BBC.

The surprise call: Last week, Shum released a book titled “Red Roulette,” which details how he and Duan navigated the hostile nexus of business and politics in China. Days before the publication, he received a call from his ex-wife — the first time he heard from her in four years.

  • Shum said Duan had called him twice asking him to cancel his book’s publication. He believes she is under home detention. “She said she’s on temporary release and they can take her back any time,” Shum told NPR. “Nobody has a word for the last four years. The government never acknowledged they had taken her. And they never charged her.”
  • Shum, who now lives with their 12-year-old son in the U.K., believes the calls were being monitored by Chinese authorities. He described Duan’s second call as “more threatening.” “She asked me the question, ‘What would happen to our son if something unfortunate happened to me?’ She asked the question, ‘How would I feel if something happened to our son?’”
  • In a statement to the Australian Financial Review, Shum said his ex-wife had also used the Chinese warning “No good comes to those who oppose the state” during her calls. “I believe she was forced to do this because the Chinese Communist Party is afraid of what I have written in ‘Red Roulette,’” he said.
  • The calls also marked the first time their 12-year-old son heard his mother in four years. Duan’s fate remains unclear, but the fact that her son got to talk to her — indicating that she’s still alive — was the “best thing” that came out of the interaction, Shum said.

Featured Image via Communist Youth League of China / Caixin

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States learning how many Afghan evacuees coming their way

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States learning how many Afghan evacuees coming their way

By AAMER MADHANI

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration began notifying governors and state refugee coordinators across the country about how many Afghan evacuees from among the first group of nearly 37,000 arrivals are slated to be resettled in their states.

California is projected to take more arrivals than any other — more than 5,200 people, according to State Department data for the Afghan Placement and Assistance program obtained by The Associated Press.

Alabama and Mississippi are each slated to welcome 10, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Hawaii, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia are not expected to resettle anyone from the first group of evacuees who fled during the final days of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal last month.

The administration has requested funding from Congress to help resettle 65,000 Afghans in the United States by the end of this month and 95,000 by September 2022. President Joe Biden tapped the former governor of his home state of Delaware, Jack Markell, to temporarily serve as his point person on resettling Afghan evacuees in the United States.

States with a historically large number of Afghans who resettled in the U.S. over the last 20 years — including California, Maryland, Texas and Virginia — are again welcoming a disproportionate number of evacuees, according to the data. Many gravitate to northern Virginia, the Maryland suburbs of D.C. and northern California — some of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

Oklahoma, which over the course of the 20-year war had resettled a relatively small number of Afghans, is slated to resettle 1,800 new arrivals.

Many of the new evacuees requested to be resettled in those states because they already have family and close friends living in those states, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the calls to state government officials. Resettlement agencies also have a large presence and capacity in many of those states.

The State Department resettled evacuees based on the advice of local affiliates of nine national resettlement agencies the U.S. government is working with, the officials said.

The officials said Afghan evacuees are advised that other parts of the country — including areas with plentiful job openings and cheaper housing — could be good places to begin their new lives in the U.S.

The Afghan evacuees go through a Department of Homeland Security-coordinated process of security vetting before being admitted. And every evacuee who comes into the United States also goes through health screening. Evacuees who are 12 and older are required to get the COVID-19 vaccination as a term of their humanitarian parolee status after entering the country.

Still, there have been unexpected complications.

U.S.-bound flights for evacuees who had been staying temporarily in third-country processing sites were halted last week after measles cases were discovered among several Afghans who had recently arrived in the U.S.

Some of the recent Afghan arrivals could also face a tough road ahead if Congress doesn’t take action to treat them as refugees arriving in the U.S.

The Afghan evacuees are not currently eligible for food stamps, cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program for low income families, Medicaid or other traditional refugee services that are funded through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Currently, each Afghan evacuee is slated to receive $1,225 to help with rent, furniture and food and provide a small amount of pocket money. Biden has called on Congress to take action to ensure that the recent arrivals have access to the same benefits as refugees.

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Minnesota job growth continues; state adds 4,300 jobs in August

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Minnesota job growth continues; state adds 4,300 jobs in August

Minnesota gained 4,300 jobs in August, dropping the state’s unemployment rate to 3.8 percent.

The month’s 0.2 percent job growth in Minnesota matches the nation’s, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The added jobs and wage increases are welcome news as the state recovers from economic turmoil brought on by COVID-19.

Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 as the pandemic began. The state has since gained 272,700 jobs, or 65.5 percent of the jobs lost.

“It’s great to see continued job growth, especially after the strong month we had in July,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. The state revised its July job growth numbers Thursday, adding 2,600 more to the 14,500 already reported.

The tight labor market has helped boost the average wages and weekly hours the past year, according to DEED. The average hourly wage for private-sector employees rose 9 cents in August, and $1 over the past 12 months, a 3.2 percent increase. Meanwhile, the weekly hours average in the private sector rose 1.1 percent the past year.

The state’s unemployment rate fell from 3.9 percent in July to 3.8 percent in August. Nationally, the August rate stood at 5.2 percent.

WHO IS HIRING

The following Minnesota industries saw job increases in August:

  • Manufacturing, up 2,300 jobs.
  • Leisure and hospitality, up 2,000.
  • Trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,500.
  • Financial activities, up 1,300.
  • Professional and business services, up 900.
  • Construction, up 600.

WHO CUT JOBS

The following industries cut jobs in August:

  • Government, down 1,900 jobs.
  • Education and health services, down 1,200.
  • Information, down 600.
  • Other services, down 500.
  • Mining and logging, down 100.

 

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