Senators Gu and Ujifusa organize
AAPI celebration at State House

Sen. Linda Ujifusa (right) and Sen. Victoria Gu (center) watch a performance by Korean folk dancer Kate Kim during a celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the State House.

 

STATE HOUSE – Sen. Linda Ujifusa and Sen. Victoria Gu, the first Asian Americans elected to the Rhode Island state legislature, gathered community leaders from across the state for a celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the State House.

“Our strength as a country and a state is our diversity,” said Senator Gu, (D-Dist. 38, Charlestown, Westerly, South Kingstown). “We have such a vibrant Asian American Pacific Islander community in our state and they contribute in so many diverse and meaningful ways. It was an honor to celebrate them today.”

The event recognized several Asian-American organizations from across the state for their service to the community. The groups honored were the Alliance of RI Southeast Asians for Education, the Center for Southeast Asians, the India Association of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Association of Chinese Americans, the Japan-America Society and Black Ships Festival of RI, the Korean-American Association of RI and the Filipino-American Association of Newport County.

The event was emceed by Newport Mayor Xaykham Khamsyvoravong, who is Lao-American, and the first Asian American mayor of that city.  There were also performances by Jade Ma, a Lincoln School student, who sang the national anthem; Junghee Oh-Kayakum, a Korean harp player and Kate Kim, a Korean folk dancer, sponsored by the Korean American Association of RI; and the Brown Lion Dancers, a dance troupe from Brown University.

“Asian-American Rhode Islanders come from a great variety of cultures, languages and traditions,” said Senator Ujifusa (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol). “Every one of them could have a month-long event just celebrating their own unique cultures. It is particularly important during times like now, when Asians are being blamed for everything from COVID to an increased threat of nuclear war, that we not let that blame turn into racism and anti-immigrant hate. We need events like this to show we can create a better – more just society – that is enriched, not threatened, by diversity.” 

 

 

The Supreme Court is getting rid of a Trump-era ban on "bump stocks." The court ruled Friday that the firearm accessory that allows semi-automatic rifles to fire more quickly can't be included in a 1934 law banning machine guns. The decision was 6-3 on ideological lines, striking down a regulation imposed during the Trump administration. Despite the ruling, bump stocks remain illegal in 18 states.       The Supreme Court is not yet ruling on Donald Trump's claims of presidential immunity. The court did not make a decision on the consequential case today, but may do so on June 20th when its next opinions are released. The case impacts some of Trump's pending cases, including his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Trump argues he is immune from prosecution because his actions fell under official conduct that should be protected, and was not a private act.       Floridians can expect even more rain today after days of severe weather and flooding. Non-stop rain has drenched parts of the southern half of the state for days now -- including Miami. Governor Ron DeSantis already declared a state of emergency. Thunderstorm activity in the region is expected to subside by the weekend, but forecasters say flash flooding and urban flooding will remain possible through Saturday.       Kate, Princess of Wales, says she is making "good progress" in her treatment for cancer. In a rare statement Friday, the British royal said she is still undergoing chemotherapy and that she has "a few more months" of treatment remaining. She also announced that she will be attending a military parade Saturday to mark King Charles the Third's birthday. This will be her first official public appearance since she revealed she has cancer.       Ukraine is rejecting Russia's demands to bring the war between the two countries to an end. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would end the war if Ukraine agreed to certain conditions. Those include Kyiv [[ KEEV ]] dropping its ambitions to join NATO, pulling out troops from four Ukrainian provinces claimed by Moscow. The proposal from Russia came just a day after the U.S. and Ukraine agreed to a new ten-year security agreement.       The USA cricket team is continuing to make history. The team has advanced to the next stage of the men's T20 Cricket World Cup after its match against Ireland was rained out in Florida Friday. The point earned by the USA due to the game being called off meant the team qualified for the Super Eight stage of the tournament. The USA will now be placed in a group of four of the final eight teams, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinal round.