Surge of coronavirus cases in California sparks new concerns | AFP

Residents in Long Beach, California, drive to a COVID-19 testing site located on a parking lot as the state sees a spike in the number of cases.

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Shooting in Long Beach, Calif. home: 3 dead, 9 hurt

Authorities say three people were fatally shot and nine others injured at a home in Long Beach, California. Some witnesses say there might have been a Halloween party going on at the house. (Oct. 30)

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The Sumo Retirement Plan

“At first, they’re thinking it’s just big fat guys pushing each other,” says Byamba Ulambayar.

“But after they see our show, they respect us.”

Los Angeles wouldn’t seem like an easy place to make a living as a sumo wrestler, but Byamba is proof that it can be done. He’s slowly watched the American appetite for sumo grow over the past few years, both as an athlete and an actor.

Byamba left the Japanese pro circuit long ago, so his most high profile matches now take place in Long Beach, California, which has turned into a kind of sumo Mecca. For the last 19 years, Long Beach has been the home of the U.S. Sumo Open, the longest-running annual sumo tournament outside of Japan. This year’s event was bigger than ever, packing a stadium with over 5,000 people.

Visiting a tournament is like a crash course in Japanese sumo culture – the program booklet handed to patrons contains a brief rundown on sumo rules, and Andrew Freund, the head of the U.S. Sumo Organization, also acts as an evangelizing hype man during the tournament, explaining sumo techniques to the crowd. But as novice-friendly as the tournament is, Freund takes tradition seriously, and regularly makes competitors re-enter the ring after a match is over bow to each other if he thinks they didn’t bow properly the first time.

But amateur sumo trophies don’t pay the bills – which is where Byamba’s second career as an actor comes in. He’s already been in Oceans 13, and plenty of commercials, starring him as, well, a sumo wrestler. And both he and Andrew Freund are hoping that he’ll soon be able to find a career outside of the ring.

VICE News visited this year’s tournament to find out how an American organization may hold the key to an alternative career path for retired Japanese sumo wrestlers.

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Treasure Trove Of Gold From The Deep To Debut

A cleanup is underway for a bounty of gold worth millions of dollars. It was recovered from a ship that sank more than 150 years ago, and some of the cache goes on public display next month in Long Beach, California. (Jan. 29)

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