VANG’S 5th Anniversary To Be Held at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on May 3, 2008

SAN JOSE, CA- October 30, 2007- The Vietnamese American National Gala™ (VANG™) announces that it will commemorate its 5th year anniversary by hosting its annual celebration of Vietnamese Americans in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 2-4, 2008. VANG™ embraces Vietnamese American heritage and pride by bringing together hundreds of Vietnamese American luminaries, including elected officials, corporate sponsors, influential community and business leaders– all who come together to share one common vision: To honor America’s best and brightest. The event will culminate with the highly anticipated annual Oscar®-like black-tie Gala, which this year take’s place at Caesars Palace on May 3, 2008.

VANG™ has elected John D. Tran as its 2008 Executive Director, managing this year’s festivities and Gala event. Mr. Tran also serves as VANG’s General Counsel. “I am honored and privileged to serve as VANG’s 2008 executive director and appreciate the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated group of volunteers and leaders nationwide. As a team, we look forward to continuing and celebrating the history and vision that VANG has so passionately championed,” states John D. Tran.

Professionally, Mr. Tran is an Attorney and a founding partner at the law firm of Buus Kim Kuo & Tran LLP (“BKKT”), which was named one of the top trademark firms in the nation in 2007. At BKKT, Mr. Tran heads up the firm’s Intellectual Property practice (Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights), and counsels a wide range of clientele, ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, assisting them with all of their legal and corporate needs.

VANG™ 2008 is held in conjunction with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a month-long celebration in May, which honors the achievements of Asian Pacific Americans and recognizes their contributions to America.
For more information, please visit www.vangusa.com or e-mail info@vangusa.com.

Young Vietnamese Star’s Career Ruined in Sex Tape Scandal

Hoang Thuy Linh

By BEN STOCKING, Associated Press Writer

HANOI, Vietnam – Vietnam is having a Paris Hilton moment.

An online sex video featuring a popular celebrity has riveted the nation for more than a week now, much as Hilton’s clip seized the attention of Americans when it hit the Internet several years ago.

But unlike Hilton, the 19-year-old woman at the center of Vietnam’s sex scandal won’t be able to capitalize on her newfound notoriety.

Hoang Thuy Linh’s show has been canceled and the actress has made a tearful farewell on national television.

“I made a mistake, a terrible mistake,” said the doe-faced teen, who had cultivated a good-girl image. “I apologize to you, my parents, my teachers and my friends.”

Her fall from grace has highlighted the generational fault-lines in Vietnam, a sexually conservative culture within which women have been taught for centuries to remain chaste until marriage and stay true to one man — no matter how many times he cheats on them.

Like everything else in this economically booming country, ideas about sex and gender roles are quickly changing as satellite TV and the Internet bring Western influences to a society cut off by decades of war and economic isolation.

But for many in communist Vietnam, new ideas about free love are much harder to accept than the free market. And unlike men, women who break the old sexual taboos are not easily forgiven.

“Kids today are crazy,” said Nguyen Thi Khanh, 49, a Hanoi junior high school teacher. “They often exceed the limits of morality. They have sex and fall in love when they’re much too young.”

In the old days, Khanh said, a woman who had sex before marriage would be ostracized.

“A good girl must keep herself clean until she is married,” Khanh said. “Thuy Linh should be condemned. If I ever see her again on TV, I will turn it off, for sure.”

In “Vang Anh’s Diaries,” Thuy Linh portrayed an earnest high school girl, modern and stylish but determined to uphold the traditional virtues of “cong, dung, ngon” and “hanh,” which promote women as tidy, charming, soft-spoken and chaste.

Then the 16-minute video hit the Internet on Oct. 15 featuring Thuy Linh in bed with her former boyfriend, both of them apparently aware that they were on camera.

On Thursday, Hanoi police detained four college students accused of posting the sex clip to the Internet. They could face charges of “spreading depraved cultural items,” which carries a sentence of six months to 15 years if convicted.

Police identified the man in the clip as 20-year-old Vu Hoang Viet, who is currently studying overseas. They said a friend copied the film off of Viet’s laptop, and passed it along to other friends who then posted it online.

Most of the public’s wrath has been directed at Thuy Linh rather than Viet.

“People will forgive him, but not her,” said Tran Minh Nguyet of the Vietnam Women’s Union, which promotes gender equality. “Vietnamese think it’s OK for a boy to have sex at that age, but not for a girl. It’s absolutely unfair.”

The video has been the talk of Vietnam. Even members of Vietnam’s National Assembly were overheard gossiping about it last week at the opening of the new legislative session.

A few lonely voices have sprung up in Thuy Linh’s defense. But in most newspapers and on blogs and Web sites, the video has become the target of jokes and condemnation.

VietnamNet, a popular online newspaper, said the episode underscored the “dark side of globalization” and warned that a flood of foreign influences “threaten Vietnam’s cultural foundation.”

The scandal also has disillusioned many of Thuy Linh’s biggest fans.

“She was supposed to set a good example for Vietnamese students nationwide,” said Chi, 14, a Hanoi junior high school student who declined to give her full name. “Now this scandal has ruined everything. It’s completely destroyed her image.”

Hilton’s sex tape, made with then-boyfriend Rick Salomon in eerie night-vision green, surfaced just before the start of her reality TV series, “The Simple Life” and helped propel her to superstardom.

But in Vietnam, the video scandal is certain to destroy Thuy Linh’s career, said Nguyet of the Vietnam Women’s Union.

“Vietnam is changing quickly, but there’s no way Thuy Linh will be forgiven,” Nguyet said. “That will take another generation.”

Storyline Designs Presents The VudooSoul Tour 2007

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Storyline Designs Presents The VudooSoul Tour 2007

Tour to Kick-Off Oct. 26 in Charlotte, NC

New York, NY – October 8, 2007 – In the weeks leading up to the release of his highly anticipated second album, R&B sensation and American Idol finalist VudooSoul will take the show on the road with an exciting 6-city tour. Each high-energy date will feature fan favorites, “Lover Come Over,” “Infatuated,” and “Oh Too Late,” as well as current hit “Lazy,” and other never-before heard cuts from his new album due out Winter 2007. VudooSoul will be accompanied by his star-studded band, representing some of the country’s elite jazz/R&B musicians hailing from Boston, New York, New Orleans, & Japan.

Presented by Storyline Designs | Events by Kym Pham, a newly-launched event planning company with a growing clientele of artists, the VudooSoul Fall Tour 2007 will have continuous interaction with its fans as it passes through each city. Its website will feature exclusive content, including a daily tour blog from the road and photo galleries posted by the team and fans alike.

“VudooSoul is one of my favorite singers to watch live not only because of his amazing voice, but, more than that, his PASSION. We lack passion in our society and every time he’s on stage, he moves the crowd,” states Paul Kim, Founder and Executive Director of Kollaboration, a Pan-Asian talent show that propels talent into the limelight of the music and entertainment industries. Be sure to check out Kollabor8tion next February at the Orpheum Theater in downtown LA.

“As a talent show producer of eight years, one thing I’m always looking for is: Does the performer MOVE people? Ask any girl in the audience after one of his shows if they want to take him home and they will say ‘yes’. VudooSoul proves Asian men are sexy. As I always say, it’s not about size, it’s about surprise,” he continues. “If you haven’t heard VudooSoul sing yet, you will. His voice carries far and will bring him to your city soon.”

Indeed it will.

In the past, his music has already found its way not only to venues in every major U.S. region, but also internationally, in places such as Hong Kong. This fall, The Vudoosoul Tour 2007 will kick off on October 26 in Charlotte, NC and will wrap up in New York City on Halloween. Full details about the first ever VudooSoul Tour, including dates and tour stops, are available on MySpace. For the cities the VudooSoul Tour 2007 does not reach, you can request your city to be added to the next tour at storylinedesigns@gmail.com or simply be on the lookout for news about The VudooSoul Tour 2008!

Don’t miss getting a taste of what American Idol Judge Randy Jackson meant when he confided in VudooSoul that he had “never imagined a voice like THAT coming out of a body like yours!”

And neither will you.

Below is the schedule of tour dates for the VudooSoul Tour 2007:

DATE CITY VENUE
Friday, October 26 Charlotte, NC UNC Charlotte Lucas Room
Saturday, October 27 Durham, NC Carolina Theater
Sunday, October 28 Abermarle, NC Stanly County Agri-Civic Theater
Monday, October 29 College Park, MD UMCP Nyumburu Cultural Center
Tuesday, October 30 Carlisle, PA The Depot at Dickinson College
Wednesday, October 31 New York, NY The Bitter End

For more information: www.vudoosoul.com / www.myspace.com/vudoosoul

Contact:
Kym Pham
Event Stylist, Storyline Designs
http://www.storylinedesigns.com
storylinedesigns@gmail.com

Asian eXcellence Awards on E! Entertainment TV tonight!

For those of you who missed the monumental Asian eXcellence Awards, it will be airing mainstream for the first time tonight, Thursday, May 24th at 6 PM EST (3 PM PST) with a one-hour special on E! Entertainment.

Please support and watch the show so we can have more Asian American programming on television. Also check out the hottest Asian American stars in the entertainment world being recognized and honored.

Unsigned Tila Tequila goes #2 on the Music Video Chart

There are probably only a few of you out there who do not have Tila Nguyen, aka Tila Tequila, on their friends list on MySpace. The once model-turned-musican has gained popularity by having MySpace’s most popular profile. She has released her first single “I Love U” this past Tuesday. She is counting on her nearly 1.7 million “friends” to help her become the first unsigned artist in history to land on the Top 20 Billboard chart.

Well, as of today, she has made it #2 on the Music Video Chart (behind Fergie) and #52 on the Top 100 Music Chart. Incredibly, she has enough loyal fans that are supporting her. How about that, a Vietnamese American in the top charts in the music industry. Two Vietnamese Americans have broken into the entertainment scene by winning television contests: Dat Phan (Last Comic Standing) and Chloe Dao (Project Runway).

“Hell… even make #1!” she says on her blog. The Toast of MySpace Tries the Music Business.

Angelina Jolie Visits Vietnam, Dad Brad Pitt Babysits

Angelina Jolie has taken time out from settling into her new home in New Orleans, Louisiana, to fly to Vietnam to promote economic development.

The actress traveled to the Asian country to attend a meeting on behalf of the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Project (MJP), a charity formed to aid her five-year-old son’s native country of Cambodia.

According to MJP executive director Stephan Bognar, he and Jolie met with officials from the International Finance Corporation’s Mekong Private Sector Development Facility, a privately funded World Bank initiative that promotes economic development in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

The Mrs & Mrs Smith star is particularly interested in a project to help subsistence farmers grow and sell bamboo, a business that Bognar says could increase their monthly income from $25 (£13) to $300 (£154). Bamboo crops also filter toxins from water and help stem soil erosion.

Jolie’s partner, Brad Pitt, was unable to make the trip and stayed with the couple’s kids in New Orleans, where he is currently filming The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.

(article from Post Chronicle)

Sunday Finale: Yul Kwon Wins ‘Survivor’

Yul

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK — His former competitors awarded Yul Kwon, the “godfather” of the CBS game “Survivor: Cook Islands,” with the $1 million top prize Sunday in a classic finale that pitted brains vs. brawn.

Kwon, a management consultant who was the soft-spoken strategic whiz in the 13th edition of the game, bested Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth, the effortless athlete who dominated physical challenges as the game neared its end.

With the money on the line, it was a 5-4 vote.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever felt bad that somebody didn’t win,” host Jeff Probst said. “It was so evenly matched.”

Kwon, a 31-year-old management consultant who lives in San Mateo, Calif., was the brain with degrees from Stanford University and Yale Law School. He controlled the strategic aspect of the game, particularly after he found a hidden piece of jewelry that guaranteed him one-time immunity from being voted off the island.

“The key to winning the game is maximizing the good luck and minimizing the bad luck,” he said later.

Lusth, who has two years of Santa Barbara City College on his resume and works as a waiter near the surf in Venice, Calif., mastered the tropical game’s challenges. He won two very different ones on the show’s final two-hour telecast Sunday: winning a race to complete a complex puzzle, and showing his endurance by standing on a tiny platform for two and a half hours.

For the first time, “Survivor” brought a third contestant into the final vote, but 28-year-old Rebekah “Becky” Lee was a non-factor.

For a game that began in racial controversy, it turned into a showcase for the nation’s diversity, according to Kwon.

“Survivor” producers were criticized for segregating four, four-person teams along ethnic lines at the game’s start: white, black, Hispanic and Asian American.

The game’s final four contestants included a black woman, Mexican-born man and two Asian-Americans. The fourth was Sundra Oakley, a 31-year-old actress from Los Angeles.

Those four people made up the game’s Aitu tribe, which at one point competed against the eight-member Raro tribe. Methodically, that core group of four voted all eight of the others out of the game, the final one Sunday being Adam Gentry, 28, a copying machine salesman who lives in San Diego.

Lee hoped to garner votes by convincing her former tribe members that she had mastered the social aspect of the game, in order to survive so long.

They weren’t buying it, particularly after Lee and Oakley had to compete in a tie-breaking contest that required them to build and sustain a fire. After an hour failing with a flint, Probst gave them matches. Lee won because Oakley ran out of matches.

“After 35 days out here, you should both know how to make fire,” Probst scolded.