BTS’s RM gives Jin’s military service exit a “Dynamite” serenade

Jin, the eldest member of BTS, was discharged on Wednesday after completing his 18-month mandatory military service, becoming the first member of the K-pop septet to do so.

Hello and good morning! It’s Thursday, June 13. Here’s some of what you need to know in our community today.

North meets South

On this day in 2000, North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-il met with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung in Pyongyang. The historic inter-Korean summit marked the first time the two leaders of the nations met and helped earn Kim Dae-jung the Nobel Peace Prize later that year, the first and only time a Korean has won the award.


BTS’s RM gives Jin’s military service exit a “Dynamite” serenade

Jin, the eldest member of BTS, was discharged on Wednesday after completing his 18-month mandatory military service, becoming the first member of the K-pop septet to do so. Emotional footage shows the 31-year-old embracing his bandmates as he exited the military base in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi province. BTS leader RM, who is fulfilling his mandatory service in a military brass band, greeted Jin with a saxophone rendition of their hit song “Dynamite.”

  • Jin later expressed gratitude for his time in service during a livestream, saying, “It was so fun for the last year and six months. It's such a relief I met so many amazing people.” His discharge event in Seoul is scheduled for Thursday, where he will perform and interact with fans, promising to hug 1,000 lucky fans who were chosen through a raffle. 

  • BTS announced their hiatus in June 2022 for military enlistment, starting with Jin in December amid debates over exemptions. South Korean law permitted the delay due to their global success that has boosted the nation’s economy. Other members are set to complete their service over the next year, with a full group reunion anticipated in 2025.


India’s record heatwave causes rising death toll

India is enduring its longest heatwave on record, with temperatures exceeding 120°F and lasting about 24 days in some regions. The state of Odisha reported eight heat-related deaths within 72 hours on Monday. Official data indicates 60 deaths between March and May, but the actual number is likely higher due to underreporting in rural areas. 

  • Recent fatalities also include at least 18 polling officials during the general elections and 33 people, including election officials, in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha on May 31. Relief is anticipated as the monsoon, which began in Kerala on May 30, moves north.

  • However, heatwaves are expected to become more frequent in India, the world’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter, due to increasing population and industrialization. The World Meteorological Organization reports that Asia is warming faster than the rest of the world, increasing vulnerability to extreme heat events. Scientists warn that without significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, heatwaves will become more severe in the coming years.


Southeast Asian countries top global ingestion of microplastics

Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines rank highest globally in dietary microplastic ingestion, according to a study by Cornell University published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology in April. Indonesians consume about 15 grams of microplastics per month — the highest in 109 countries — mainly from seafood.

  • Microplastics, or plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters, originate from the breakdown of plastic products and shedding of synthetic textiles. They can also be airborne, with China and Mongolia leading in inhaling them at a rate of 2.8 million particles per month, as per the study.

  • The research underscores the need for international collaboration and local strategies to reduce microplastic exposure. For years, Southeast Asia has faced a severe plastic crisis; aside from being the world’s largest contributor to oceanic plastic, it receives even more plastic waste from developed regions.


Japanese city has AI mayor who speaks English

Yokosuka, a city in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture that houses the country’s largest U.S. naval base, has turned its mayor, Katsuaki Uechi, into AI to help disseminate English-language communications among residents.

  • The AI mayor first appeared in a video in April about a waste reduction initiative involving workers with physical and mental disabilities. Uechi said he was impressed by his avatar and that he plans to use it to share important information, such as disaster prevention measures.

  • The computer-generated official is expected to appear on the city’s YouTube channel in monthly post-press conference videos.


A heartwarming X thread about a silent friendship

X user @FlawsofCouture recently shared memories of her grade 6 classmate, Nguyen Nguyen, who never spoke, not even to teachers. Despite the silence, they formed a unique bond, walking to school together in a comfortable quiet.

  • The user shared that when her family moved away, Nguyen unexpectedly broke her silence to express she would miss her friend. This marked the first and last time @FlawsofCouture heard Nguyen's voice. “I think about her often. I’ve searched for her as well, but so many ppl go by the same name. I hope you’re okay girl & I miss you too,” she writes.

  • While @FlawsofCouture's initial attempts to find Nguyen through online searches proved futile, she eventually found Nguyen and they are now connected on Instagram. Nguyen expressed gratitude for the childhood friendship and revealed she's now a speech therapist. ”Thank you for befriending that super shy, awkward little girl,” Nguyen said. “It truly meant a lot.”

More News

  • World’s 1st twin elephants of different sexes: Pang Jamjuree, a 36-year-old elephant in Thailand, gave birth to both a male and female calf at the Royal Elephant Kraal Village in Ayutthaya province on Friday. This rare occurrence, believed to be the world's first instance of twin elephants of different sexes, is being celebrated as a miracle. The birth adds to the sanctuary's history of breeding success, marking its 94th and 95th births over its 27 years of operation.

  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon” live-action adaptation coming to Prime: Prime Video is set to release a six-part live-action adaptation of the popular Sega role-playing game “Yakuza: Like a Dragon,” starring “Kamen Rider Drive” actor Takeuchi Ryoma as protagonist Kiryu Kazuma. Set between two time periods in 1995 and 2005, the first three episodes will premiere on Oct. 25, followed by the remaining episodes on Nov. 1.

  • What too much internet can do to teens’ brains: A recent study out of University College London found that teens clinically diagnosed with internet addiction show disrupted signaling between brain regions responsible for attention, working memory and executive function. “The findings from our study show that this can lead to potentially negative behavioral and developmental changes that could impact the lives of adolescents. For example, they may struggle to maintain relationships and social activities, lie about online activity and experience irregular eating and disrupted sleep,” said lead author Max Chang.

  • Interview: Entrepreneur doesn’t regret “worst OSU commencement speech ever”: Last month, social entrepreneur Christopher Pan delivered a highly controversial keynote address while on the psychedelic ayahuasca at Ohio State University’s 2024 commencement ceremony. Despite the boos and criticism for his speech, which included elements like Bitcoin advocacy and singing exercises, Pan stands by his message of attaining financial literacy and emotional wellness. “I don't have any regrets because I did what I believe is right,” Pan says in an interview with NextShark, adding that he plans to create an organization to educate people about ayahuasca and Bitcoin.

Featured Post

Suni Lee, the first ever Hmong American Olympian and overcame the toughest of obstacles on her way to making history at the 2020 Olympics when she became the first woman of Asian descent and first Asian American woman to an all around gymnastics title.

Until Tomorrow,

Alan Van