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Ethnic Groups

December 30, 2009 | By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
He still has it: the stethoscope that heard the last heartbeats of the grand ayatollah. When the revolution by Iraq's Shiite Muslim poor began, Haidar Turfi was there. For 45 weeks in a row, he attended the sermons, each one challenging Saddam Hussein's regime, until the third Friday in February 1999, when revered cleric Mohammed Sadeq Sadr was gunned down. He was there four years later, after the fall of Hussein, as Sadr's young followers gravitated to his son Muqtada and harnessed an army of thousands of disenfranchised Shiites who could grind the country to a halt.
November 8, 2009 | STEVE LOPEZ
There was no telling how many people would show up Tuesday morning to discuss, one last time, how much of Koreatown should be surrendered to the Bangladeshi community. At the previous meeting in this yearlong border skirmish, L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge had asked each side to bring three representatives. "The Koreans cheated," he said. "They brought seven. But the Bangladeshis cheated more. They brought 37." And so it has gone since Oct. 23, 2008, when the Bangladeshis filed a petition with the city clerk's office asking for a Little Bangladesh designation.
September 8, 2009 | HECTOR TOBAR
Los Angeles is home to an industry that makes dramas and exports them around the world. But there's something wrong about the way our diverse city looks and sounds in big Hollywood films. With a few, notable exceptions, Latinos are usually in the background, doing yardwork or working as nannies, putting on the thick Spanish accents demanded by their scripts. Black characters are often wacky police officers, gangsters or single moms. Asians are technicians or immigrants who look confused.
September 7, 2009 | Carmela Ciuraru
Beyond their kitschy, noisy facades, American Chinatowns are more than a place to find a counterfeit Kate Spade bag, cheap dim sum and tacky souvenirs. For hundreds of thousands of people, Chinatown is home. In "American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods," author Bonnie Tsui immerses herself in some of these communities, exploring their class struggles, rivalries, customs and dialects. "What was most surprising to learn was how little things have changed," she said by phone, "because it's still where new working-class immigrants go because they don't have anywhere else to go. That's a small comfort when you're making your way in a completely unfamiliar place."
September 5, 2009 | Reuters
Five people died in three days of unrest this week in Urumqi, Deputy Mayor Zhang Hong said Friday. Han Chinese massed in the city -- the capital of China's northwestern-most province, Xinjiang -- to protest what they considered authorities' inaction on hundreds of reported stabbings with hypodermic needles as well as on trials of ethnic Uighurs charged in July rioting that killed about 200, mostly Han. Police with tear gas broke up the...
August 29, 2009 | Barbara Demick
Thousands of refugees from Myanmar have poured across the border into China in recent weeks amid troubling signs that a 20-year cease-fire between ethnic minorities and Myanmar's military rulers might be unraveling. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said as many as 30,000 people had fled fighting in Myanmar; sources on the Chinese side of the border put the figure at 5,000 to 10,000. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu in a statement Friday urged the Myanmar government to "safeguard the regional stability of its bordering area with China."
August 24, 2009 | Julian E. Barnes
Military officials are anxiously watching the brittle partnership between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq as U.S. analysts warn that renewed waves of violence have put the country at a crucial crossroads. Sunni militants are widely thought responsible for bombings in Baghdad last week that left 95 dead. But a key question being debated in Washington is whether the larger Sunni community has begun implicitly supporting the attacks. For the moment, military officers and American analysts do not believe that a new sectarian war has broken out. But the U.S. withdrawal from Iraqi cities June 30 has unnerved Sunnis who saw the American presence as protection against Shiite oppression, and experts hope Prime Minister Nouri Maliki finds a way to quickly calm Sunni fears.
August 17, 2009 | Shari Roan
Sean Delshad, 19, probably could have found more enjoyable things to do on a breezy Sunday afternoon. But instead he was waiting his turn at Sinai Temple -- along with dozens of other members of Los Angeles' large Persian Jewish community -- to undergo genetic testing. The UCLA student deposited a few drops of saliva in a tube handed to him by a doctor and, in four to six weeks, he'll learn whether he carries gene mutations for four disorders that are especially prevalent among Persian Jews.
July 28, 2009 | Rich Connell
Latino unemployment in California, which has been rising rapidly, reached 15.7% in the quarter ending June 30, exceeding African American joblessness for the first time in the current economic downturn, according to a new analysis. The state's Latino unemployment is projected to hit nearly 18% a year from now, said the report released Monday by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.
July 9, 2009 | David Pierson and Barbara Demick
In an escalating campaign to stamp out ethnic violence, Chinese forces Wednesday saturated the northwestern city of Urumqi, helicopters dropped leaflets urging calm, and the local Communist Party boss warned of the death penalty for rioters convicted of killings. "We're determined to maintain social stability," said Urumqi's party chief, Li Zhi, at a news conference. "To those who committed crimes with cruel means, we will execute them."
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