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Hey, all. My name's Annie, and I'm the Event Advisor of AAA as well as a new blogger for the BlAAAg! I'll be our resident Hong Kong person for awhile, as I'll be abroad for the semester. But for now, I blog from Chinatown, NYC, where voting, immigration, gentrification, and so many other issues still apply, as throughout the world still (and you better not forget it!). I thought I'd write an entry as summer winds down, and thank y'all who've been reading this blog for quite some time, even through these cool summer months. I'll be writing periodically about things happening in the HK; I'll elab more once I'm there (the 19th is approaching!)

Anyways, it was big news when Euna Lee and Laura Ling, journalists who crossed the border to N. Korea so many months ago, were freed last Wednesday: it was the first article on the NYTimes site for a day and a half, woot! Bill Clinton made a 20-hour private visit over to North Korea and spoke to Kim Jong Il, supposedly just on humanitarian issues (but who knows what could have gone on there). Anyways, Il gave a special "pardon" to the two, who had been there since mid-March. The video of their return was pretty damn emotional.

As for US-Asian relations, who knows how this can affect things. Sure, the Obama admin. has been claiming that Bill went on his own and that they had no say in it, but there must've been some approval by the White House to get the girls out. North Korea, too, has been given its share of good press, which has been rare for the isolationist and expanding nation. Perhaps this'll be the beginning of resuming and progressing talks btwn. the UN and North Korea, which has been threatened with so, so many sanctions in the past. But for both sides, this looked pretty darn good. We'll see.

It's been cause for celebration, too, not just for the families of the journalists and the U.S. government. This has been huge news, too, for a good portion of the Asian-American community in America who've been keeping an eye on this story for quite a while. For some months, I was beginning to think that the two could be there for years. What could that have said about U.S. policy? I wonder, too, what this story could mean for a lot of the community out there in the future. But hey, we'll see again.

Us AAAers (yes, we still talk, despite the summer recess) kept touch about it, and our VP from Barnard suggested a celebration once people return to campus! Yay! But we'll stay in touch about that...and cultureSHOCK... and OCM apps... and other things and events, as we've been planning for the new school year. Stay tuned to this blog, our upcoming Twitter page, our Facebook group, for more and more updates!

-where it's A.T.


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