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    An AirAsia plane takes off on Jan. 8, 2014. (Photo by Clement Alloing via Creative Commons license.)

    An AirAsia plane takes off on Jan. 8, 2014. (Photo by Clement Alloing via Creative Commons license.)

    KIRO-TV reported Tuesday that a Shoreline family says that six of their Indonesian family members were among the passengers who were on AirAsia 8501, which crashed on Sunday.

    Jack Song of Shoreline told the TV station that his wife’s father, Soetikno Sia, and her mother, listed on the passenger manifest as Jou Christien Yuanita, were on the flight, according to the report. Traveling with them were his wife’s uncle and his family, Song said.

    Song told the TV station that his wife and her brother are hoping that AirAsia will fly them to the rest of their family in Indonesia.

    Recovery teams discovered debris from the plane and bodies of passengers on Tuesday in the Java Sea, two days after the plane disappeared from radar screens, according to news reports.

    Tony Fernandes, CEO of the Malaysia-based airline, has been on the scene and expressed his sadness over Twitter.

    Flight QZ850, which was on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, had 162 people on board, including 155 passengers and seven crew members, according to The Jakarta Post. AirAsia listed the nationalities of the passengers and crew on its Facebook page:

    Passengers: 

    1 Singapore

    1 Malaysia

    3 South Korea

    1 United Kingdom

    149 Indonesia

    Nationalities of crew:

    1 France

    6 Indonesia

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      Seattle is an ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse city. It is home to a dozens of synagogues, mosques, minority churches, and cultural centers. But Seattle is in the grip of Christmas every holiday season.

      A giant Christmas tree towers over Westlake Center. Homes from West Seattle to Shoreline are decorated with inflatable Santas and his twinkling reindeer. Apart from a menorah thrown in here and there, most Seattleites don’t see other celebrations that take place in our city this holiday season.

      According to a study from the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, 72 percent of Washingtonians identify with a branch of Western Christianity. Twenty-three percent do not identify with a religion at all, one of the highest percentages in the country. The remaining 5 percent identify with a variety of faiths from all over the world. This is about 350,000 people in the state of Washington, who celebrate something other than Christmas on Dec. 25. So what holidays have we missed in our Christmas monopoly?

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      Delegates from Seattle in Cuba earlier this year as part of the U.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration. (Photo by Misa Shikuma.)

      Delegates from Seattle in Cuba earlier this year as part of the U.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration. (Photo by Misa Shikuma.)

      Cindy Domingo, organizer of a Seattle delegation of women that travels every year to Cuba, said that their annual cultural exchange could look a little different after U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba President Raul Castro have begun warming relations between the two countries.

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      https://twitter.com/ninettecheng/status/545374919010164736

      “The Interview,” a comedy about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been canceled by Sony Pictures on Wednesday following threats made to theaters that had been scheduled to show the film.

      The comedy, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, had been slated for  Christmas release. Major theater chains canceled the showings after a group called the “Guardians of Peace” threatened an attack on movie theaters, invoking the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Variety.

      The threats followed a widespread hack of Sony Pictures in November, which resulted in the release of emails that embarrassed Sony executives.

      According to NPR’s The Two Way blog, U.S. investigators believe that the origin of the hack and the threats can be traced to North Korea.

      Seattle Twitter users responded to the furor around the movie over the past few days:

       

      https://twitter.com/ninettecheng/status/545374919010164736

      https://twitter.com/lukobe/status/545377591969210368

      https://twitter.com/ElCrisRod/status/545346901537595392

      https://twitter.com/manicpop/status/544927362459000832

      https://twitter.com/JoetheHammer/status/545379150572167168

      https://twitter.com/42_clifford/status/545347793242431489

       

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        Venice Buhain joins the Globalist this month as editor. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

        Venice Buhain joins the Globalist this month as editor. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

        We are pleased to announce that Venice Buhain has joined the Seattle Globalist team as part-time editor. Venice will work closely with Globalist contributors, Editor-in-Chief Alex Stonehill, and fellow Editor Christina Twu to increase our coverage of important local-global news.

        Venice brings more than a decade of daily journalism experience to the Globalist. She was the editor of Patch.com’s Bellevue site for the full three years it existed, and regularly covers the Washington legislative session for TVW.

        Venice loves crunching numbers, filing requests for public documents, and playing the ukelele.

        Please join me in welcoming Venice to the Globalist! You can send her your news tips, or just say “hi”, at venice[at]seattleglobalist.com.

        Venice Buhain makes Globalist history, hitting 'publish' on her first story last week. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

        Venice makes Globalist history, hitting ‘publish’ on her first story last week. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)