Agnes Constante

Journalist & Blogger


Wisconsin Teen Convicted of Homicide Withdraws Request for New Trial

NBC Asian America
May 18, 2017

A Wisconsin Hmong-American teenager convicted in the 2015 fatal stabbing of another teen has opted not to seek a new trial.

Dylan Yang, 17, who was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 13-year-old Isaiah Powell, withdrew a motion for a retrial on Tuesday. The motion was filed in March by Yang’s attorney, Harry Hertel, who argued that his client’s first lawyer was ineffective.

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California City Bans Display of Vietnam National Flag on City Poles

NBC Asian America
Jan. 27, 2017

A Northern California city has become the first in the San Francisco Bay Area to ban the flag of the communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The San Jose City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to ban the flag — a yellow star on a red background — from being displayed on city flagpoles, following in the footsteps of the Southern California city of Westminster, which adopted a similar resolution to ban the flag in December last year.

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South Asian American Org Cuts Ties with Southwest over Profiling Allegations

NBC Asian America
Nov. 22, 2016

Citing instances of alleged racial and religious profiling, non-profit organization South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) has terminated its seven-year partnership with Southwest Airlines.

“We felt it was a hard choice to make, but it was one that was important for us to make and one that we continue to stand by,” Suman Raghunathan, executive director of SAALT, told NBC News. “As an organization that is dependent on funding from foundations, corporations, and individuals, it is never easy for us to decline funding that we have already secured.”

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Critics Accuse Disney of ‘Culture Theft’ Ahead of ‘Moana’ Release

NBC Asian America
Nov. 18, 2016

While many are looking forward to Disney’s “Moana” hitting theaters Thanksgiving weekend, some Pacific Islanders are not excited for the film. Ahead of its debut, “Moana” has become the subject of criticism from some who say it inaccurately depicts Polynesian culture and exploits it for profit.

“Through this project, Disney reached into the entire Pacific region and cherry picked here and there to create this fantasy of Polynesia,” Anne Keala Kelly, a Native Hawaiian filmmaker and journalist, told NBC News. “Polynesia isn’t a race and so that already is very problematic. There are millions of people in the Pacific, hundreds of languages.”

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Korean-American Org Turns Faith Leaders to ‘First Responders’ with Domestic Violence Training

NBC Asian America
Nov. 16, 2016

Many Korean-American survivors of domestic violence go first to their faith leaders for guidance, a nonprofit found in an in-house survey, but when the survivors approached those leaders, the leaders were unprepared.

That finding prompted the Los Angeles-based Korean American Family Services (KFAM) to host a Korean-language training about domestic violence targeted at faith leaders, the first of its kind in Southern California, according to the organization. The first leaders to finish program graduated earlier this month.

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California Governor Signs Bill Granting Overtime to Domestic Workers into Law

NBC Asian America
Sept. 13, 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that grants permanent overtime protections to privately hired domestic workers in the state on Monday, in a victory for Filipino-American advocates who had pushed for the legislation.

“I am very thankful that SB 1015 was signed into law by Gov. Brown,” Emily, 57, a Filipino caregiver who declined to give her last name, told NBC News. “With SB 1015 making AB 241’s overtime provisions permanent, I don’t have to work as much to get so little pay. I get more of a choice on which shifts I want to take and I now have some breathing room between bills as well as more time to also care for my own health.”

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