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Graphic: CBS News

A string of recent attacks on elderly Asian Americans has led to an uproar in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Why it matters: Violence and discrimination against Asian Americans appears to have risen dramatically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving families nervous and afraid even in many of America’s most diverse cities.

Driving the news: Just within the past two weeks, a 61-year-old Filipino man was slashed across the face in New York City; an 84-year-old Thai immigrant died after he was slammed into the ground in San Francisco; and a 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground in Oakland, California's Chinatown.

The coronavirus appears to have triggered a spike in anti-AAPI violence, and experts say former President Trump’s rhetoric — referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus” — only made matters worse.

  • Violence against Asian Americans increased "following the identification of the coronavirus in China," LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher told LAist.

By the numbers: Anti-AAPI hate incidents numbered around 200 in 2019, per FBI data. National data aren’t available yet for 2020, but there are clear signs that those numbers rose.

  • New York City, home to America’s largest AAPI population, reported just one incident of anti-AAPI violence in all of 2019, which jumped to 20 incidents in just the first half of 2020, Queens Chronicle reports.
  • Los Angeles reported 14 such incidents in the first half of last year, up from seven in the entire year before.

Stop AAPI Hate, a group formed shortly after the start of the pandemic, collected over 2,800 self-reported incidents of racism targeting Asian Americans across the U.S. between March and December of 2020.

  • 7.3% of the incidents involved people older than 60.
Data: Stop AAPI Hate; Chart: Axios Visuals

Between the lines: Assaults and homicides against people 60 and older have surged in recent years, and elderly Asian Americans are particularly vulnerable.

What we’re watching: Within days of taking office, President Biden signed an executive order directing an examination of anti-Asian discrimination.

  • When asked about the recent assaults at a White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would "support additional action on the local level or the federal level," but neither the White House nor the Justice Department offered specifics.

The bottom line: These "acts of cowardice ... show where we stand as a society," said Joon Bang, president and CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging.

Go deeper: Taking coronavirus fears too far

Go deeper

Scoop: 50,000 migrants released; few report to ICE

A law enforcement officer walks to meet migrants crossed the Rio Grande River illegally last month. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

About 50,000 migrants who crossed the southern border illegally have now been released in the United States without a court date. Although they are told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office instead, just 13% have showed up so far, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The sizable numbers are a sign of just how overwhelmed some sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border continue to be: A single stretch covering the Rio Grande Valley had 20,000 apprehensions in a week. The figures also show the shortcomings of recent emergency decisions to release migrants.

50 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israel launches maximum pressure campaign against Ben & Jerry's

A Ben & Jerry's store in the Israeli city of Yavne. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty

The Israeli government has formed a special task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's ice cream and its parent company Unilever to reverse their decision to boycott Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is concerned the move by Ben & Jerry's will encourage other international companies to take similar steps to differentiate between Israel and the West Bank settlements. A classified Foreign Ministry cable, seen by Axios, makes clear the government wants to send a message.

Video game developers at Activision Blizzard say they'll walk out Wednesday

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Employees at Activision Blizzard will hold a walkout Wednesday in protest of widespread harassment allegations across the company, a spokesperson on behalf of the group told Axios.

Why it matters: Walkouts are a drastic measure for developers in a largely non-unionized field, a testament to just how angry employees currently are.

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