a Lunar New Year shoot
A Lunar New Year Rampage
California police are searching for a gunman who killed 10 people Saturday in the town of Monterey Park, Los Angeles County. The mass shooting happened hours after a Lunar New Year’s Eve celebration, the most important holiday in many Asian countries. Thousands of people attended the event. (Follow our live coverage.)
The Los Angeles County Sheriff said yesterday authorities were looking for an Asian man between the ages of 30 and 50. He opened fire on a dance hall and witnesses said he appeared to be firing indiscriminately. At least 10 other people were injured. Authorities gave no motive for the attack.
The mass shooting is the latest tragedy to hit Asian Americans, who have faced increasing violence throughout the pandemic. Monterey Park is approximately 65% Asian American and has been called the “first suburban Chinatown”. It is perhaps best known as the first city in the continental United States where the majority of residents have Asian ethnic ancestry.
A pattern: This mass shooting is the deadliest in the United States since the Uvalde massacre last May, when a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in Texas. There have been 33 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023, according to a nonprofit research group.
New Zealand’s next leader
Chris Hipkins, who has overseen the country’s unique pandemic approach, is set to become New Zealand’s new Prime Minister next month.
Hipkins, 44, was a clear favorite to become Labor leader after Jacinda Ardern’s surprise resignation last week. As New Zealand’s health minister and then minister for Covid-19 response, he was the face of the country’s tough, but widely applauded, response to the pandemic.
The new leader faces a number of major challenges. Voters are seeking respite from inflation, a lingering housing crisis and other entrenched social issues such as crime and child poverty. He may struggle to move beyond his association with pandemic politics, which has tainted Ardern’s leadership.
Up front: In a national election in October, Hipkins will face Christopher Luxon, the leader of the center-right National Party.
Understand the situation in China
The Chinese government has shelved its restrictive “zero Covid” policy, which had sparked mass protests that posed a rare challenge to the Communist Party leadership.
Analysis: Leaders often resign in parliamentary systems. But Ardern’s departure stands out, writes my colleague Max Fisher: “It was particularly striking to see a leader voluntarily relinquish power at a time when the world’s strongmen – and even some elected presidents – cling fiercely to theirs. .”
Tense Lunar New Year in China
For many Chinese traveling for the Lunar New Year, the joy of finally seeing loved ones for the holidays without the risk of lockdown is mixed with anxiety. Many are moving from cities to rural areas, where health services are woefully underdeveloped. They fear passing the virus on to older relatives.
They are also on the move just weeks after the government lifted its ‘zero Covid’ restrictions. An official said it was “the toughest Spring Festival in years” as outbreaks continue to spread. “It is precisely because we opened up that I feel so tense,” said one villager.
But after years of muted celebrations, hundreds of millions are longing for a reunion. In a sign of national relief, some people on social media are celebrating congestion at travel hubs as a sign of things getting back to normal – or at least a new normal.
Details: Before the pandemic, the travel rush was the largest annual migration in the world. This year, China expects traffic to nearly double from 2022, surpassing two billion passenger trips during the holiday season.
Zero Covid fallout: Some Chinese entrepreneurs have left the country, writes my colleague Li Yuan in an analysis. They moved to Singapore and took their wealth with them.
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Americans in Paris think “Emily in Paris” gives them a bad name.
“We try so hard not to be the ugly American,” one woman lamented. “To be an American expat in Paris is to try to appear vaguely French or invisibly American, and Emily is the opposite of that.”
EXPEDITION TO MUMBAI
One film, 27 years of screenings
The Indian film industry brings about 1,500 stories to the screen every year. But every day Mumbai audiences line up for “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, a film still on screen after 27 years.
The film, known as “DDLJ”, is a boy-girl story set in India in the 1990s, a time of unbridled optimism as the economy had just opened up. In many ways, India today resembles that reflected in the film. The economy is still on the rise. Women are always looking for more freedom. Modernity and conservatism remain in tension.
But some of the sense of limitless possibility has faded since the film premiered in 1995. As the early rewards of liberalization peaked and economic inequality widened, aspirations for mobility waned. Some on the fringes of Mumbai are buying a ticket to escape to a rosier past, while others are still looking for inspiration.
“I come every day,” said a regular, who goes by the name of the female lead, Simran. She is a prostitute in the nearby declining red-light district. “I like it every day.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
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