February 21, 2011
It's a high compliment when someone seeks to live in a country that imprisoned and abused him. That's what five Chinese Muslims held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility want to do, but they're encountering resistance from the Justice Department. It is urging the Supreme Court not to review an appeals court decision holding that a judge may not release them into this country. The Muslims, members of an ethnic group called the Uighurs who want independence from China, had traveled to Afghanistan, where Uighur military training camps had been set up. After the United States launched a military offensive in Afghanistan, they and others were captured by Pakistani and other coalition forces and brought to Guantanamo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2011 |
The first reports came in early last week. Someone had scrawled a death threat to parishioners on the walkway of a Catholic church in Irvine. Just miles away in Anaheim, a similar message was painted on a sidewall at St. Boniface Catholic Church. For two weeks, Orange County cities have seen a spate of graffiti calling on people to kill Catholics, blacks, Asians and Latinos. Then, on Thursday someone painted graffiti in Santa Ana threatening to kill Gov. Jerry Brown on Valentine's Day. "Every community experiences some form of graffiti," said Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez, "but to see hateful messages like this is rare, especially when you're dealing with the message of killing added to religion, ethnicities and now aimed at a politician.
December 28, 2010 |
The scrubbing, cooking and sweeping started as early as 3 a.m. When the landlord's children awoke hours later, the 9-year-old girl got them ready for a school she could only dream of attending. Afternoons and evenings were spent cutting hay and tending animals. Around 10 p.m., she'd collapse for a few hours before starting again, seven days a week. It must be my fate, she thought, a feeling eventually replaced by anger and bitterness. Every January or February she'd see her family for a week, only to watch her father "sell" her back into another year of drudgery for a mere $25. Although some of her friends spent most of their childhood this way, she was lucky: A civic group persuaded her parents to end the arrangement after three years.
December 16, 2010 |
Along rutted streets in newly revitalized neighborhoods hang green, red, yellow and black banners commemorating Imam Hussein, the prophet Muhammad's grandson, whose death more than 1,300 years ago continues to forge the identity and fuel the grievances of Afghanistan's Shiite Muslims. For centuries, Shiites, most of them ethnic Hazaras with distinct East Asian facial features, were absent from public life, regarded as an economic underclass and the target of occasional pogroms by Sunni Pashtun-dominated governments.
August 23, 2010 |
The United States needs new immigrants to continually remind itself of its own values. That's the simple lesson I learned last week after a moment of despair. On Monday, I watched the hilarious but depressing video of Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, rabidly defending his ludicrous claims that Middle Eastern women are coming to the U.S. to give birth to "terror babies" who will come back and bomb us in 20 years. On Tuesday, I saw a self-styled Christian on CNN arguing haughtily that we should not allow mosques to be built anywhere in the U.S. Then, of course, there was the ranting of Holy Warrior Newt Gingrich, the moral cowardice of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the weak-kneed triangulation of President Obama.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2010 |
Los Angeles County's death rate has dropped significantly in recent years, according to a report released this week by the county's Department of Public Health. The drop, 22% countywide from 1998 to 2007, came as fewer county residents died from many chronic illnesses. Still, significant disparities persist among racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. "There's a lot of good news here," said Gerald Kominski, associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
May 12, 2010 |
A bill that aims to ban ethnic studies in Arizona schools was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jan Brewer, cheering critics who called such classes divisive and alarming others who said it's yet another law targeting Latinos in the state. The move comes less than 20 days after Brewer signed a controversial immigration bill that has caused widespread protests against the state. The governor's press office did not return requests for comment Tuesday evening. HB 2281 bans schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals.
March 31, 2010 |
The marketplace for short men's clothing is, well, shrinking. With Americans growing taller, and recessionary pressure in the specialty clothing market, it's become harder than ever to find apparel stores for short men. Just a few now remain of the dozens that dotted the national landscape years ago. Actor Ben Giroux can tell you all about it. "To shop for clothes as a short man is one of the most aggravating things you can try to do,"...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2010 |
For the first time, voting districts for California's Legislature will not be drawn behind closed doors in the backrooms of the state Capitol. Instead, a first-in-the-nation citizen commission will do the job, and thousands of everyday Californians are jostling to serve on the panel. But hopes of taking politics out of the process are fading. Ethnic groups charge that the pool of applicants is too white and too male to reflect the state's diversity. Others are raising questions about $1.3 million in taxpayer money being spent on a public relations contract to woo minority applicants.
January 15, 2010 |
California Latinos have been nearly twice as likely as whites to die of H1N1 flu since the pandemic began last spring, according to statewide figures released Thursday by the California Department of Public Health. Over the same months, blacks in the state have been 50% more likely to die of H1N1 flu than whites, the report said. "Not everybody has been impacted equally" by H1N1, said state epidemiologist Dr. Gilberto Chavez, who added that statistics have shown "very important racial disparities" in H1N1 mortality and hospitalization rates.