The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Newsbytes: Chinese New Year, Police Harassment, Free Basics, and Smurfs Gathering

By: Staff Writers Bindhu Swaminathan and Zen Thumparkkul


Students from the Fremont Chinese School perform with Chinese yo-yos on Saturday at the Chinese New Year celebration at Fremont Main Library. Photo by James Sakane

On Saturday, February 7, Lena Zee hosted a Chinese New Year celebration at Fremont Main Library. The program was approximately an hour long and featured performances of Chinese folk dance, kung fu, and music. It also included presentations from various Chinese organizations in Fremont, such as Academy of Chinese Performing Arts, Fremont Chinese School, and Legend Kung Fu Academy. President of Citizens for Better Community Judy Lam said, “From toddlers to seniors, it was a very warm atmosphere filled with enthusiasm to welcome and celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey.”




Imani Perry, an African American professor at Princeton University, is protesting her arrest last week on the ground of racial bias. Dr. Perry was cited for a single parking ticket; however, during a routine search, two police officers discovered that there was a warrant for her arrest due to two unpaid parking violations. After being arrested, Perry cited the body search carried out by a male officer despite the presence of a female officer as harassment. Perry said, “This demand for behavioral perfection from black people in response to disproportionate policing and punishment is a terrible red herring.”




India recently struck down Facebook’s Free Basic’s plan, which offers a text-only mobile version of Facebook’s platform, along with other news, health, and job services. While Facebook’s official position on the topic was one of charity, as they hoped to aid the poor and introduce them to the internet’s potential, their message to India on their plan focused on their business’ expansion, rather than their proposed aid to the public. Program manager Renata Avila said, “The message is clear: We can’t create a two-tier Internet – one for the haves, and one for the have-nots.”




In attempt to break the world’s highest record of people dressed as Smurfs gathered in one place, 2,617 people partied as Smurfs in Waldshut-Tiengen, Germany on February 7. According to the organizer of the event, Michael Bernatek, the event took more than a year to organize. Unfortunately, the crowd needed 361 more Smurfs to beat the highest record, which was set seven years ago in Wales. Regardless, participants enjoyed the fun and excitement of the event. “We are very proud of the region here and of the people who mobilized themselves to come here. And as you can see the atmosphere is great,” Bernatek said.


Photos Courtesy of James Sakane, The New York Times, and The Telegraph

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