Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

An illustration adapted from a photo of Som Subedi. Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In 1991, Som Subedi fled Bhutan, a small Himalayan country that famously measures its economic output in units of "gross national happiness." His family was driven out by a series of royal edicts that resulted in the forcible expulsion of one-sixth of the country’s population. He was sent to a refugee camp in Nepal, beginning his almost 20-year odyssey.

"It was crazy," Subedi told Axios from Portland, Oregon, where he now lives, "not having enough to eat, just being under that leaky thatched roof. ... I still feel some of the heat coming into the hut and cold in the winter."

On June 19 of 2008, I came to this country with almost $10 and a plastic bag. And I started my life.
Som Subedi

What life was like:

  • In Nepal, refugees were not permitted to work, but Subedi's parents did so illegally — his dad on a farm and his mom spinning wool for around 30 cents a day — to provide for Subedi and a younger sister who was born in the camp.
  • His younger sister raised chickens so that she could buy books.
  • Subedi’s family tried to return to Bhutan, but in 2006, when the Bush administration announced they would resettle tens of thousands of Bhutanese refugees, Subedi began the long process that would bring him to the United States. "I feel like sometimes I'm one of the most vetted persons on the planet."
  • The financial crisis welcomed Subedi to the U.S. Many in the refugee community could not face the turmoil and committed suicide, Subedi said.

How it is now:

  • Subedi is now married with children, owns a house and a car (a "red hot Mustang"), works in local government and co-founded a sports organization for foreign-born families called Parks for New Portlanders.
  • When asked about the misconceptions Americans have of refugees, Subedi says people tell him that America needs to find more refugees like him. “And I say no. In 2008, nobody knew. I had $10 in my pocket and a plastic bag."

Go deeper

The Week America Changed

Sandberg thought Zuckerberg was "nuts" on remote work in January 2020

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Image

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg thought Mark Zuckerberg was "nuts" when he raised the possibility in January 2020 that 50,000 Facebook employees might have to work from home. By March 6, they were.

Why it matters: In an interview Monday with Axios Re:Cap, Sandberg explained how Facebook moved quickly to respond to the pandemic with grants for small businesses and work-from-home stipends for its employees, and how the company has been watching the unfolding crisis for women in the workforce.

Supreme Court declines to hear case on qualified immunity for police officers

The Supreme Court on March 5. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a lawsuit brought against Cleveland police officers that challenges the scope of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The doctrine has been the subject of scrutiny from civil rights advocates. Eliminating qualified immunity was one of the key demands of demonstrators during nationwide protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd.