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Chinese government tried to stop New Jersey township from raising Tibetan flag, mayor says

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Chinese government tried to stop New Jersey township from raising Tibetan flag, mayor says


BELLEVILLE, N.J. — The mayor of Belleville, New Jersey says a representative of the Chinese government tried to stop him from showing solidarity to the Tibetan people and honoring a member of his community. 

Tibet has been an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China since 1950, but many Tibetan exiles in the U.S. and around the world say their religion and culture has been stifled under communist control. 

Yangchen Nodong, 74, said her escape from Tibet to Nepal, then to India in 1960 brings back painful memories. She was a 10-year-old orphan when she escaped with her aunt and brother. 

“One time we had to cross the glacier. We couldn’t cross all the way so we had to sleep on the glacier. It was cold. I never forget that part,” said Nodong. 

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This year, the Tibetan New Year falls on the same day as the Chinese Lunar New Year. Nodong was elated when Mayor Michael Melham agreed to raise the Tibetan flag after her son made the request. 

“It means so much to us that the mayor was kind enough to raise the flag even though we are a small town. I never heard of any mayor doing this. It’s so great. Thanks mayor from the bottom of my heart,” said Nodong. 

“We are grateful to the mayor of Belleville for affirming our Tibetan identity here and standing up to the Chinese communist government,” said Pema Nodong, her daughter. 

But the mayor, who put information on his social media, said China’s vice consul in New York reached out right before the ceremony to try and stop him from raising the flag. 

“They were urging us to cancel and reconsider and my township attorney, my township manager, police chief all said to me what are you going to do? And I said the flag is going to fly at noon,” said Melham. 

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The Tibetan flag is banned in Tibet by the Chinese government because it’s become a symbol of freedom for exiles like Nodong who continue to demonstrate to keep their culture alive. 

“As we continue to try to exert our independence and our identity, our Tibetan Buddhist identity, they would oppress the people,” said Nodong’s daughter. 

“We want to stand in solidarity with the people of Tibet and let them know that we stand up for everything they stand up for,” said Melham. 

The mayor said his decision was not political and that he sent a respectful letter back to China’s vice consul saying the flag went up because his diverse community respects all voices. 

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NJ woman bizarrely asked to sleep in the same bed as her colleague on overseas work trip: ‘HR loves a good rom-com’

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NJ woman bizarrely asked to sleep in the same bed as her colleague on overseas work trip: ‘HR loves a good rom-com’


A New Jersey woman has taken to TikTok to share her company’s bizarre request before a work trip overseas.

“My company is not only asking us to share a room with a colleague on our upcoming trip to Paris, but to share a bed,” co.letter said in a video on TikTok.

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She said she had to re-read the email several times as she could not believe human resources would suggest this.

The woman was asking her followers if they would be comfortable sharing a bed with a co-worker News.com.au

According to the shocked employee, she received an email about the upcoming trip.

“In the survey you will notice you have the option to share a room with a colleague,” the email from her workplace said.

“Be advised that at present booking status there’s only one bed in the room.

“You can absolutely respond no to this question,” the email read.

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‘That was an option … Suggested, encouraged – HR was like typing that up, sending it, drinking their glass of wine,’ she said

She said HR was either “bored”, wanting to save money or “maybe both.”

She compared the potential experience to a “booktok” or a raunchy fiction plot.

“I hope this video lands on an author page and then they can Facetime me after I go on this trip.

A women took to TikTok to read an email from her company which asked co-workers to share a bed on an upcoming work trip to Paris News.com.au
She said she had to re-read the letter several times to understand the request. News.com.au

“I could draft something and send it over.

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“I didn’t even know this was possible in a corporate setting,” she said.

“Multiple people in my company end up dating, and WE WONDER WHY,” the poster commented in response to someone who said HR was definitely “a book girly”.

“HR loves a good rom-com,” the original poster replied.

People in the comments were quick to drag the company’s request.

“This actually feels illegal,” one comment read.

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“I travel a lot for work, and I would NEVER agree to that. The best part of those trips is to get room service in my robe,” another comment read.

“I would quit before I had to sleep in the same room as a co-worker,” another added.



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NJ Senate race: Andy Kim easily beats Tammy Murphy for Democratic nod on his home turf

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NJ Senate race: Andy Kim easily beats Tammy Murphy for Democratic nod on his home turf


U.S. Rep. Andy Kim sailed to an easy and expected victory at the Burlington County Democratic Convention on Saturday over Tammy Murphy, the state’s first lady and his chief rival for the party’s nod in the June primary for the U.S. Senate.

According to unofficial tallies, Kim, the clear favorite on his home-county turf, grabbed 245 votes to Murphy’s 21 votes. Other candidates — Patricia Campos-Medina, a Latina activist and union organizer, and Lawrence Hamm, a social justice advocate from Newark — also earned votes, but those numbers were not immediately available.

The candidates are vying to succeed U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, the Union County Democrat who was accused by federal prosecutors of accepting bribes while acting as a foreign agent for Egypt and Qatar.

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Menendez denies the charges and has not ruled out the possibility of running for reelection this year, although he did not compete in the Burlington convention Saturday and the prospects of running again appear to be unlikely.

Stile: Andy Kim a Trump supporter? That’s what Tammy Murphy wants you to think

The outcome was widely expected. Kim, who was raised in Evesham Township and has represented most of Burlington County since entering Congress in 2019, is a popular figure here. Leading up to Saturday’s event Kim snapped up a slew of endorsements from prominent Democratic county officials, including state Sen. Troy Singleton, who has emerged in recent years as perhaps the county’s most powerful Democrat.

The win now confers on Kim the valuable endorsement of the Burlington County machine. In practical terms, that means he will be bracketed on the June 4 primary ballot on the same “line” or column led by President Joe Biden and with other endorsed candidates for Congress and local offices. Organizational line candidates almost always win.

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“We have some scary moments and scary things going on in our country and in our world right now,” Kim said to a standing room only crowd of 300 packed inside the auditorium of the Burlington County satellite campus of Rowan University in Mount Laurel before the voting started.

“We face some real existential threats, real challenges at deep levels, whether that’s what we see on Jan. 6th and what we see going on around the world,” he added referring to the riot of supporters of President Donald Trump just before he left office in 2021. “We’re in this together.”

Stile: Is the NJ Democratic nomination for Senate really ‘in play’? Can Kim win?

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In the county-by-county contest for party support, Saturday’s vote has limited value. Burlington’s 140,000 registered Democrats represent just 5.6% of the 2.5 million voters eligible to vote in the Democratic primary.

Yet, the victory is certain to add to the perception that grassroots momentum continues to build behind Kim’s buck-the-machine candidacy. Earlier this month, Kim stunned the political establishment by notching a blowout victory over Mrs. Murphy in Monmouth County, where the Murphy family has lived for 25 years. He is also expected to win the smaller Hunterdon County convention on Sunday.

What happened in Monmouth: Democrats back Andy Kim for Senate over Tammy Murphy, in race to replace Menendez

The first lady still has considerable advantages in her corner, winning the endorsements of county bosses in Democratic Party strongholds of Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Bergen counties. In those counties, the party leaders’ endorsement has an enormous sway in the nominating process.

Many of those leaders in those Democrat-rich counties endorsed Murphy shortly after she jumped into the race in November, a move that signaled an attempt to create an aura of inevitability about her campaign and derail Kim before he got any traction.

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Primary race: Andy Kim, Tammy Murphy make their cases to Democrats at Monmouth University forum

In her pitch to the committee delegates, Murphy argued that a woman senator could be a reliable and determined foe of right wing, Trumpian extremism that has engulfed the Republican Party and wields power in Congress. If elected, Murphy would be the first woman senator from New Jersey.

“We need more ticked off moms who are beholden only to our children in Washington, D.C.,” she told the audience before voting. “We need a senator who’s going to be a champion for women and girls and stop right-wing extremists who want to ban abortion in all 50 states.”

But many of Murphy’s institutional advantages may have turned into potential liabilities for her, sparking accusations that she sought to coast to the nomination with the help of husband Gov. Phil Murphy’s grip on Democratic Party insiders. The charges of nepotism have dogged the campaign from the moment she stepped into the ring.

Kim, meanwhile, has constantly attacked Murphy as a dubious Democrat, who raised thousands of dollars for Republicans dating back to the late 1990s, including former President George W. Bush. Although Murphy also gave to prominent Democrats at the time — including Al Gore, Bush’s opponent in the 2000 presidential race — she remained a registered Republican as late as 2014.

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Campaigning in North Jersey: Congressman Andy Kim visits Ridgewood to make his case to Bergen County Democrats

The result has been a rocky start for Murphy, who has trailed in opinion polls. Her campaign also announced last week the departure of her campaign manager, Max Glass. No replacement was named.

Kim, meanwhile, has cast himself around the state as the most reliable Democratic Party choice to win in the general election by frequently citing his record of flipping the 3rd Congressional District in 2018 and his consistent opposition to Trump policies since taking office.

‘Kim-mentum?’ A tide of unease about Tammy Murphy washes across NJ Democratic grassroots

Murphy has tried to muddy that record by citing several procedural votes that aligned with the Trump agenda. Yet, on Friday, the Kim campaign circulated a photo, first published by the Daily Beast, of the Murphys posing in a group shot with Trump’s daughter, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, son of the disgraced New Jersey developer Charles Kushner.

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Talking to reporters after the event, Murphy defended the appearance as the result of responsible diplomacy that her husband conducted with the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor maintained that the open channels with Trump helped the state secure needed supplies and relief from the federal government.

“We’re never going to progress as a country if we are … constantly sitting at the table with people who are thinking the same way and we’re watching the same news feeds,” she argued. “If we had not reached across the aisle during COVID to get the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), to get the ventilators, people would have died in our state.”



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Around Livingston: Layoffs + Taxes + Israel-Palestine + Lottery Win

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Around Livingston: Layoffs + Taxes + Israel-Palestine + Lottery Win


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