2010 Census will Count Remote Ekimo Village First

The U.S. Census Bureau, via Director Robert M. Groves, will conduct the first count of the 2010 Census in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Noorvik, Alaska today. The remote village north of the Arctic Circle that will be counted first in this year’s census has a population of about 700 people.

It’s necessary for Census takers to get a head start in Noorvik and other villages in remote Alaska before residents leave for hunting and fishing grounds. They also need to work in the area while the ground is still frozen, allowing access to the region by bush plane, dogsled and snowmobile.

Residents of other parts of the state, including Anchorage, Fairbanks and other larger Alaska cities will receive 2010 Census questionnaires by mail in mid-March like the rest of the country.

read the rest of the story at Before It’s News

Shen Yun Shows in Hong Kong Cancelled Due to Visa Refusal

By Xu Haiqing for The Epoch Times

HONG KONG—Shen Yun’s performances in Hong Kong will be cancelled this year, local organizers announced at noon on Jan. 23, citing the refusal of Hong Kong authorities to issue visas to six key production staff.

Hong Kong public figures have criticized the decision, claiming that it was a result of political pressure from Beijing. Shen Yun’s artists include practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice banned and persecuted in China, and its performances include artistic representations of Chinese citizens standing up to end the persecution in China.

Six days before the show’s debut, scheduled on Jan. 27, Hong Kong’s Immigration Department informed the company that seven production staff would be denied entry, saying they could be replaced by Hong Kong local workers. Later, one of the staff members was granted entry after the presenter made repeated entreaties for a reevaluation.

Kan Hung Cheung, a spokesperson for the organizers, remarked that four of the six production staff played irreplaceable roles in the performance, including lighting, sound effects, technical backdrop. Their roles were specified in the visa application, he said.

“A complete staff is essential to any performing arts group. This is just common sense,” Mr. Cheung said. “It is obvious that the Immigration Department denied their entry because Beijing wants to interfere with the show.”

The show’s organizers, the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association, and local bureaux of New Tang Dynasty Television and The Epoch Times, said that the Hong Kong government must “bear the consequences” of the decision. “Unfortunately the Hong Kong government has chosen to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party to stop the show,” Mr. Cheung said. “We strongly protest this.”