Newsbytes: Niles Canyon Trail, Powerball, Mosques in France, and Monkey Selfies

By: Staff Writers Ella Chen and Lucille Njoo


The East Bay Regional Park District completed a feasibility report on its proposed Niles Canyon multi-use trail on January 7. The trail is planned to stretch 6 miles from Fremont to Sunol with a 10-foot-wide path to be shared by pedestrians, cyclists, and possibly equestrians. The report outlined three possible routes for the trail: following the north face of Niles Canyon, the south face of the canyon, or the Niles Canyon railway. All three designs include the construction of a new bridge, parking lots, and public restrooms. The project has not yet received an environmental impact evaluation or received all its legal permits, but it is planned to be executed in three phases and will cost $57-69 million.



The Powerball Association announced the numbers of a $900 million jackpot on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. There were no winners for that day, so the Powerball Association announced that the next jackpot amount would rise. Ever since Nov. 4, 2015, the jackpot had risen from $40 million to $900 million. Powerball sales had reached a record breaking high by January 9, because nobody had all six numbers. Because there were no Saturday  winners, the jackpot amount had increased again to $1.3 billion for Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. There were winning numbers drawn on Wednesday.  



To allow non-Muslims to gain a greater understanding of Muslim faith, hundreds of mosques all over France have extended invitation to their “open house events.” Guests are given food and demonstrations of Muslim worship. These open house events commemorate the jihadist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and kosher market about a year ago. Despite these efforts to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims, France has been under a state of emergency ever since the latest Paris attacks in November 2015.



US Northern CA District Judge William Orrick ruled on January 6 that an Indonesian macaque monkey that took a selfie could not own the copyright to the image. The six-year-old monkey, dubbed “Naruto,” deliberately took several photos by pressing the shutter button of British photographer David Slater’s camera during his 2011 trip to Sulawesi, Indonesia. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit in 2015, seeking to represent the monkey and use the money earned from the photo, which was published on various websites and in a book, for the benefit of Naruto and other macaques. However, Orrick ruled that Congress does not extend copyright laws to animals, so the monkey cannot own the rights to his selfie.


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