East Buys West: Wealthy Chinese Buyers Soak up California Housing, Cash is King

Zhang Pen | ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

Zhang Pen | ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

  writes:  At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America’s largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. LennarPulteK HovnanianRyland to name a few. It’s a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.

“They see the market here still has room for appreciation,” said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. “What’s driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.”

Yong’s phone has been ringing off the hook, with more than 5,000 new homes slated for the nearby Great Park Neighborhood. Most of the calls are from overseas, but prospective buyers are not looking solely for financial returns on the real estate.

“We are seeing a lot of Asians who are buying as an investment, but their kids are going to school here, so kids live in the home. They are looking at it more as an investment in education,” said Emile Haddad, CEO of Fivepoint Communities, developer of the Great Park Neighborhood.

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Jailed Dissident Yang Maodong Finally Allowed Access to Lawyer

Credit: frontlinedefenders.org

Credit: frontlinedefenders.org

Buckley reports from China for The New York Times that writer and activist Yang Maodong has finally been allowed access to a lawyer, three months after his detention and two after his formal arrest.

Yang Maodong, a writer and businessman better known by his pen name, Guo Feixiong, was detained by the police in Guangzhou, in Guangdong Province, in early August on allegations of “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” He is one of several well-known rights advocates held on similar accusations after participating in grass-roots campaigns pressing the Communist Party for stronger legal and political rights. Read the rest of this entry »


Lovelorn Chinese bachelor cuts off penis, bikes to hospital

note: this is a stock image of a knife from Getty Images. No actual penis was harmed in the preparation of the illustration for this important news item.

Disclaimer: This is a stock image. No actual penis was harmed by this knife for this news item! / Getty Images

A Chinese man is without his penis today after he cut it off, in a fit of depression over the lack of romance in his life.

Once the man, Yang Hu, severed his junk, he apparently experienced second thoughts and also quite a bit of pain, reports the Daily Mail. So, he decided to ride his bicycle to a local hospital.

One thing Yang, 26, failed to bring with him to the hospital was his penis. Consequently, says the Daily Mirror, doctors sent him away — on his bike — to retrieve it.

Somehow, the man was actually able to return for his penis. However, when he finally got back to the hospital, penis in hand, there was more bad news. Doctors told him that he had lost so much blood that reattachment was no longer surgically possible.

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China detains teenager over web post amid social media crackdown

Weibo, China's most popular social media site, often hosts outspoken comments. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Weibo, China’s most popular social media site, often hosts outspoken comments. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese authorities have detained a 16-year-old schoolboy for posting “fabricated facts” on the internet amid an extensive crackdown on the country’s relatively free-wheeling online communities.

The boy from Zhangjiachuan county in north-west Gansu province, identified only by his surname, Yang, was detained after rebuking local police on Sina WeiboChina‘s most popular microblogging service. Local authorities have accused Yang of “picking quarrels and provoking disputes”, Chinese media reported. Read the rest of this entry »


Infamous Chinese official caught grinning at site of deadly crash gets 14 years in jail for accepting $40K in bribes

Yang Dacai, centre, a Chinese official branded "Brother Watch" because of his expensive taste in timepieces, stands in the courtroom in the Intermediate people's court of Xian, northwest China's Shaanxi province on September 5, 2013. He was sentenced to 14 years in jail for corruption.

Yang Dacai, centre, a Chinese official branded “Brother Watch” because of his expensive taste in timepieces, stands in the courtroom in the Intermediate people’s court of Xian, northwest China’s Shaanxi province on September 5, 2013. He was sentenced to 14 years in jail for corruption.

A Chinese provincial official whose grinning at the scene of a deadly bus crash sparked an outcry and, eventually, led to corruption charges was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in prison.

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