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Origami takes on new facets, new fans

Sara Goheen, a junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), often folds placemats or straw wrappers into interesting shapes while she’s waiting at a restaurant for the food to arrive.

"It’s super satisfying to see a flat piece of paper turn into something — whether it’s a rhino

Race Card Project creates new type of conversation

She asked for just six words.

Michele Norris, the National Public Radio (NPR) host, was starting a book tour for her memoir, which explored racial secrets. Sensing a change in the atmosphere after the election of the first black president, and searching for a new way to engage and listen, Norris printed 200 postcards asking people to express their thoughts on race in six words.

The first cards that trickled into her mailbox were from friends and acquaintances of Norris. Then they started coming from strangers, from people who had not heard Norris speak, from other continents. The tour stopped; the cards did not:

Little Saigon gets first Vietnamese-American mayor

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — The first Vietnamese-American mayor of Westminster will earn just $900 a month, and the authority he holds in the Southern California city is limited.

But as the incoming leader of a city in the heart of Little Saigon — the largest Vietnamese district outside Vietnam — Tri Ta’s election win has resonated across the Vietnamese diaspora.

Already, Ta has been featured on Radio Free Asia, seen his name on internet sites from

Surgery delayed for Filipino dog’s lost snout

DAVIS, California (AP) — A dog from the Philippines who became an international hero after she sacrificed her snout to save two young girls will have to wait a little longer for surgery to repair her missing muzzle.

The Sacramento Bee reported that veterinarians at the University of California, Davis said

Record number of gays seeking seats in congress

NEW YORK — Of the four openly gay members of congress, the two longest-serving stalwarts are vacating their seats. Instead of fretting, their activist admirers are excited about a record number of gays vying to win seats in the next congress — and to make history in the process.

When the oaths of office are taken in January, congress could have its first openly gay Asian American, Mark Takano of California; its first openly bisexual member, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona; and its first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

U.S. Navy medical care boosts ties, image in Asia

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — The U.S. Navy is spending more than $20 million each year sending ships to poorer nations in the Asian-Pacific region to provide cataract surgery, dental fillings, and other medical care.

The Navy and its sailors are more often recognized for sending aircraft carriers to help

Gardens help refugees connect to new land

RIVERDALE, Md. (AP) — Mukti Raj Gurung’s last memory of his childhood home in Bhutan is a field of rice, ready to be picked. But his family never got to reap the harvest.

When he was 14, their ancestral farm — with its rice and corn fields, vegetables, cattle,

Like NASA rover, family switches over to Mars time

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, California — For one family, an exotic summer getaway means living on Mars.

Martian time, that is.

Children can tour the world via their lunchboxes

If you — or your kid — are blanching at the thought of yet another year of day-after-day brown bagged PB&J, perhaps this is the year to mix up the lunchbox offerings a bit.

Of course, that’s an easy thing to say. It’s a lot harder to execute when the morning rush

First U.S. ambassador to Myanmar since 1990 begins job

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The first U.S ambassador to Myanmar in 22 years formally assumed his job last month by presenting his credentials to the country’s president.

Derek Mitchell carried out the formality at the presidential mansion in the capital of Naypyitaw, according to the website of the office of President Thein Sein. Mitchell had

Expand your yard’s horizons, for free

If your garden or yard is feeling too small, expand your horizons without buying another square inch of property or doing much work. Just borrow some landscape.

"Borrowed landscape" is a technique frequently used in designing Japanese gardens, where it is called shakkei, but it can be employed in any garden style. The idea is to

102-year-old man becomes U.S. citizen

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 102-year-old Filipino man who came to the U.S. as a youth in 1928 to pick vegetables became a citizen during a touching naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles.

"I’m happy," Philippine-born Joaquin Arciago Guzman said in his native Tagalog after the

Japanese composting may be new food waste solution

MIDDLETON, Mass. — Down the back stairs of the clubhouse kitchen, on a plot lost among the expanse of tightly trimmed fairways and greens, weeks-old food is buried under a tarp and mulch and left to decompose.

Federal court says Hawaii can regulate beach weddings

HONOLULU — Hawaii can regulate weddings on public beaches without violating people’s right to marry, according to a federal appeals court.

Beach wedding permits required by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources

U.S. braces for tsunami debris, but impact unclear

JUNEAU, Alaska — More than a year after a tsunami devastated Japan, killing thousands of people and washing millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. government and west coast states don’t have a cohesive plan for cleaning up the rubble that floats to American shores.

Right at Home: Making bathing a Zen experience

Some of us are shower people, and some are bathers.

But there’s a way to be both, as the Japanese discovered centuries ago when they developed the ofuro, or soaking tub.

Traditionally, the Japanese get clean with a shower or hand bath and then step into an

Boy glad soccer ball lost in tsunami found in Alaska

TOKYO — A teenager who lost his home in Japan’s devastating tsunami now knows that one prized possession survived: a soccer ball that drifted all the way to Alaska.

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say the ball with the youngster’s name inscribed on it is one of the first pieces of debris from last year’s tsunami to wash up on the other side of the Pacific.

A man found the ball while beachcombing on an Alaskan island, and his wife, who is

Businessman Pham Dinh Nguyen buys a little piece of the American dream

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese businessman Pham Dinh Nguyen flew to the U.S. for the first time, drove to a tiny, frigid trading outpost, and bought his own piece of the American dream: Buford, Wyoming — population 1.

Hmong community launches online translator

FRESNO, California — When Phong Yang, a Hmong refugee from Laos, landed in California’s Central Valley — via stops in Thailand and France — he was 14 years old. He learned to speak Hmong from his parents, but today he has a hard time teaching the language to his children, who are distracted by cell phones and computers.

Arab-Muslim comedy finding voice after 9/11

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The comedian who gained notoriety on the "Axis of Evil Comedy Tour" made one thing clear when he opened a recent set at Michigan State University: "Tonight, it’s not Islam 101."

Iranian Americans get the reality TV treatment

LOS ANGELES — Reality TV’s life lessons tend to be at least as synthetic as the shows themselves.

Say you were intrigued by Snooki’s problem-solving approach, if one existed, to drummed-

Rapping at the Mat: Nikee JS likes the small time

JACKSON, Minn. (AP) — When rapper Nikee JS started recording rhymes at 14, his lyrics relied mostly on Beamers and bling.

But 12 years later, he’s flipped the script. Instead of rapping about fast cars, flashy jewelry,

Chinese architect Wang Shu wins Pritzker Prize

LOS ANGELES — Chinese architect Wang Shu, whose buildings have been praised for their commanding presence and careful attention to the environment, has won the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize, according to the prize’s jury.

The 49-year-old architect joins Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, and Eduardo Souto de Moura in receiving the honor that’s been called architecture’s Nobel Prize. Wang, the first Chinese architect to receive the honor, is recognized for the museums, libraries, apartment complexes, and other structures that he has designed in China.

Visit to Iowa offers opportunities for Chinese leader Xi Jinping

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Chinese vice president spent a good deal of his U.S. trip in Iowa, a state better known for hosting American presidential candidates. So why is this rural place playing such a big role in the Chinese heir apparent’s historic tour of the United States?

The answer lies in the way Xi Jinping likes to do business — by building personal relationships — and in Iowa’s rich agricultural industry, which is closely tied to China’s.

A strange new world for refugees from Burma

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The "CSI" shows are a big hit. "Dancing with the Stars," too. And hamburgers! What a treat. Football, though? That’s still a mystery, a demolition derby of huge men slamming into each other with few discernible aims.

Adopted kids mini-ambassadors come Lunar New Year

NEW YORK — With its fireworks, family reunions, and feasts, Lunar New Year is the longest and most important celebration for millions around the world.

For kids adopted from China, it holds special meaning. Lunar New Year makes them mini-

Rare Asian duck draws bird watchers to California

FRESNO, California — A rare duck normally only seen in Asia has somehow turned up in California, drawing excited bird watchers from all over the U.S. and Canada to a wildlife refuge in the state’s Central Valley.

Wildlife officials say a male falcated duck, a bird common in China, was first spotted at the refuge December 8.

David Chang, the rock star of ramen, goes global

NEW YORK — David Chang knocks several times on an unmarked, street-level door in downtown Manhattan. Someone inside clearly recognizes the boss’s knock, and the door opens quickly. The whole place is the size of a nice walk-in closet.


Clinton meets Suu Kyi, lays down reform markers
YANGON, Myanmar — Hillary Rodham Clinton dined with former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, forcefully underscoring a U.S. challenge to the leaders of Myanmar, also known as Burma, on her historic visit: The new civilian government must expand recent reforms, including the release of political prisoners, to improve relations as it emerges from more than a half-century of repressive military rule.
High hopes for first Chinese-American mayor of S.F.
SAN FRANCISCO — Bowing deeply and shaking hands with shopkeepers along the streets of Chinatown, San Francisco’s newly elected mayor understands the significance: These are the people who put him in office, the people for whom he fought when he was an activist attorney, and the people who expect more of him than any other mayor who
Jennifer Lim’s long, unique path to Ch’inglish

NEW YORK — Most stage actors toil for years in tiny, hard-to-find theaters, or in roaming national tours or at small regional companies before getting their shot on Broadway. Then there is Jennifer Lim.

Lim, 32, has amassed quite a few credits that can be considered really off-off-off Broadway: She has done a version of Medea at the International Adana State Theatre Festival in Turkey; Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven in Vienna; and she played Ophelia in a Mandarin-only production of Hamlet at the Grotowski International Theatre Festival in Poland.

Future unknown for U.S. ghost town bought by church

SCENIC, South Dakota — The saloon is long empty. The roadside jail cells, rusted and worn. Even the swing sets peek from behind knee-high brush after decades of neglect.

The tiny exclave just west of South Dakota’s badlands is officially an old ghost town. But its future is shrouded in new mystery.

Immigrants from 44 countries become Americans

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Honglian William Shi smiled proudly minutes after he and 98 other people took the oath to become a U.S. citizen administered by U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum.

Shi, a third-year Kansas University (KU) associate professor of pharmacology and

Growing up Muslim after September 11 a test of faith

FULLERTON, California — In many ways, Yousuf Salama is a typical teenager: He lives for football, worries about acne, and would rather dash off to see Captain America with friends than spend one more minute with his mother.

He’s aware, however, that his actions in particular can have greater meaning.

Snakes threaten Hawaii’s fragile island ecosystem

HONOLULU — Hawaii has been largely successful in preventing snakes from entering the island paradise over the years and avoiding the grave danger they present to tropical birds, colorful plants, and the vibrant environment that draws millions of tourists to the state each year.

Former Vietnam enemies share reconciliation story

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — On the morning of April 16, 1972, in the midst of the Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force Major Daniel Cherry awoke at the Royal Thai Air Force Base in Udorn, Thailand, ate breakfast, and was briefed on his daily mission.

Cherry, an F4-D Phantom pilot, was to be part of a group that was to escort B-52 bombers

Spoelstra and Na defy expectations

Expectations can produce different results, and two Asian sports figures defied expectations last month: Li Na by winning and Erik Spoelstra by losing. Fortunately, the outlook remains high for both, giving each a chance to continue or reverse their reactions.

Hawaii state bird a hazard to planes

HONOLULU — The Hawaii state bird is an endangered species, constantly threatened by mongoose, dogs, rats, and other introduced animals even as they cope with the loss of grasslands and forests to development.

But nene geese have found a safe home among the green golf course fairways and ponds

Journalist says he’s an illegal immigrant in the U.S.

WASHINGTON — A prize-winning journalist who covered presidential politics and the 2007 Virginia Tech University shootings for The Washington Post went on U.S. network television to announce he is an illegal immigrant.

Jose Antonio Vargas told ABC News in interviews that aired in late June that he is outing himself as one of millions of illegal U.S. immigrants after living with the secret for years. He also told his story in a New York Times Magazine essay published online.

Vietnamese kids, U.S. families in adoption limbo
HANOI, Vietnam — Marsha Sailors painted the nursery pink and green at her Missouri home, put up princess pictures, and built a crib for her new little girl. They hadn’t yet met, but she was already in love with the smiling six-month-old in a photo sent from Vietnam.
Pacquiao wins third straight unanimous decision
Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao didn’t give his fans the fight they wanted to see last month. He didn’t face the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. since the fighters’ camps couldn’t agree on the terms for the fight of the century. And his fans didn’t get to see the Filipino go toe-to-toe with the powerful "Sugar" Shane Mosley, who had never been knocked out in his career.
More cooking, less reheating for Hawaii schools

HONOLULU — After feeding thousands of tiny mouths in her lifetime, Cindy Saffery knows the most important ingredient when cooking for children: love.

Saffery is the cafeteria manager for three schools on Oahu’s Waianae Coast, where there’s high concern about diabetes and childhood obesity, especially among Native

Badminton federation defends new rule on skirts

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Badminton’s governing body is defending a new rule that orders female players to wear skirts.

The new on-court clothing rule has been misinterpreted, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement.

2011 Masters highlights Asian golfers old and new

This year’s Masters golf tournament, won by unknown South African Charl Schwartzel, featured plenty of new faces, including first-time appearances by eight different Asian and Asian-American golfers. While none of the eastern contingent cracked the top five, three finished in the top 20 and several others continue to make inroads into the PGA.

Father Leo in Maryland graces followers with cookbook

EMMITSBURG, Md. (AP) — The Rev. Leo Patalinghug is all about cooking. And prayer.

He has combined his two passions into a book, Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life.

President’s sister puts their mom in picture book

NEW YORK — Above a rooftop in Jakarta or the Indus River in Pakistan, the moon looms large in the childhood memories of Maya Soetoro-Ng, but President Barack Obama’s little sister hadn’t realized how important those memories were until she was pregnant with her oldest daughter.

A new era for Asians in major-league baseball
Don’t look now, but there’s a major change of thinking in Asian-American baseball. Recent disappointments among eastern imports have led teams to bring players over at a younger age, creating an influx of Asian players who should soon arrive in the majors. They will add to a group of rising Asian Americans already establishing themselves in the major leagues, including two faces from the Pacific Northwest.
U.S. farmers hire movie stars to sell nuts in Asia

BAKERSFIELD, California — Chinese movie star Gao Yuan Yuan ambled in front of blooming almond trees, smelled the flowers, learned about pollination, and even got stung by a bee — all while two Chinese television crews filmed her for a documentary and television series focused on California’s almond country.

The almond industry has hired Gao as its ambassador in China, and its effort is just one of many California nut growers are making to capture new markets in developing countries.

Last-minute goals frame Team Japan’s Asian Cup victory

Team Japan became the first four-time winner of the AFC Asian Cup with an exciting extra-time victory over Australia last month. Timely, dramatic goals framed the Samurai Blue’s rise to the top of Asian soccer, which follows the team’s historic finish in the 2010 World Cup.

The Asian Cup tournament nearly opened with a Japanese letdown against Jordan. Shortly before the end of a scoreless first half, a Jordanian striker’s shot deflected off Maya Yoshida ’s foot, flipping the ball past goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima into Japan’s net. But Yoshida redeemed himself

Buffalo Bills lineman Wang spreading football in China

BEIJING — Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Ed Wang sees a future for American football in his parents’ homeland of China.

"I see so much potential," Wang said during a clinic for university students playing in a 32-school flag football league. "Just these kids ... they were just picking it up so fast. Just how smart they were and how they just soaked everything up. It was just so incredible."

Dalai Lama’s nephew grew into role as activist

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — Acquaintances of the Dalai Lama’s nephew say he had embraced Tibet’s struggle for independence from China after a wild youth in a southern Indiana college town.

Jigme Norbu’s late father was the Dalai Lama’s brother. The 45-year-old Norbu died this month after being struck by a car near St. Augustine, Florida. It was the first day of a 300-

NFL postseason filled with Asian-American stars
In the past decade, it’s become much easier than ever to find Asian-American players in the National Football League (NFL). Thanks to their tradition of rugby and big bodies, Polynesians can often be found in offensive and defensive lines or in the linebacking corps. Other Asian Americans can be found elsewhere on the field, but they’re the exception, not the rule. This season’s playoffs saw many Asian-American players in
Quan is first Asian-American woman to lead a major U.S. city

OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland, California native Jean Quan this month urged for community reinvestment as she was sworn in as mayor of the troubled city east of San Francisco.

Quan, 61, also became the first Asian-American woman to take the helm of a major U.S. city.

Hollywood-style special effects give girl new ear

WASHINGTON — Elise Lutz never let her friends see what was left of her ear.

She’d carefully style her long hair into a one-sided ponytail or swelter under a swim cap for hours at swim meets to cover the molten lump from a severe burn as a toddler in her native China.