Newsbytes: Fremont’s Central Park, Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Anniversary of Charlie Hebdo Shooting, and Mao ZeDong

By: Staff Writers Kevin Li and Richard Zhou

Local

A project aimed at converting two large grass fields in Fremont’s Central Park into synthetic turf is already underway, and is to be completed in May 2016. The new turf will be used to create two 195-foot by 330-foot soccer pitches as well as Fremont’s first regulation-sized cricket field. In addition, new lighting will be installed and permanent striping will be applied to the fields. The 184,000 square feet of turf will help conserve water as well as lower maintenance costs.

National

Dozens of ranchers stormed and occupied the federal Malheur Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, on Jan. 3, 2016.  The standoff, with no hostages taken and no end date set, was sparked by prison sentences handed down to Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond on charges of committing arson on federal property. Former FBI special agent Tom Kubic believes that the law enforcement’s cautious approach, which has been criticized by some, is the right one. He said, “You don’t want to do anything precipitous that would heighten the degree of confrontation. The key is to be very cautious, go slow, and take a look at and understand what is being asked for.”

International

One year has passed since the shootings in Paris that claimed 17 lives, eight of whom were staff of  French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The magazine commemorated the anniversary with a controversial cover depicting a bloodied religious figure with a rifle running with his back to the reader. The headline says, “One year on: the murderer is still running.” Collections of cartoons by the five cartoonists killed in the attack are included in the magazine. The issue’s powerful cover has drawn criticism from many, including the Pope, who warned against insulting religion.

Quirky

On January 4, a photo surfaced on the internet depicting a massive statue of deceased Chinese leader Mao ZeDong nearing completion. The statue, located in the Zhushigang Village in China’s Tongxu County, reportedly measures 120 feet  in height, and appears to dwarf everything around it. This statue is only one of the thousands more around the country which celebrate the life and achievements of the chairman of the People’s Republic of China and longtime leader of the country’s Communist party.

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