The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Newsbytes: Refugee Resettlement, ‘Black Lives Matter’, Terror in Paris, Zebras Escape Zoo

By: Staff Writers Bindhu Swaminathan and Zen Thumparkkul 

Local – Governor Supports Vetted Refugee Resettlement

As an act to uphold “America’s traditional role as a place of asylum”, California Governor Jerry Brown confirmed his support for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the US on November 16. Following the Paris terror attack on November 13, many governors have more strongly protested the resettlement of refugees due to security reasons. Despite states’ lack of authority to legally reject refugees, at least 27 have opposed admitting refugees into their state. In response, Brown stressed the importance of vetting refugees in a “sophisticated and utterly reliable way” in an emailed statement to the Associated Press (AP). “You can be sure that we will do everything in our power to protect the people of our state,” Brown said to the AP.

National – Protesters Shut Down Minnesota Interstate

Following the police shooting of African-American domestic assault suspect Jamar Clark, hundreds of protesters flood northbound Interstate 94 through Minneapolis on November 16. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that the shutdown first began at 7 p.m., when protesters attempted to block traffic on the freeway. The group forced northbound lanes to be closed for 2.5 hours and damaged numerous cars. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, four warnings were given before authorities started arresting protesters at 9 p.m. The police have now charged 43 adults and eight juveniles with unlawful assembly and trespassing on a freeway.

International – Terror Wreaks Havoc in Paris

The massive terrorist attack in Paris at the Bataclan music hall and various restaurants have left international communities shocked. With the death toll reaching 129, and 352 injured, the terror group ISIS came forward to take credit for the attacks. The terror strike in Paris aroused an international frenzy, with Facebook creating a temporary profile picture in the French national colors, and a check-in program that allowed users in affected areas to check in as unharmed after the attacks. Authorities suspected Abdelhamid Abaaoud as having masterminded the plot, stating that the Belgium citizen was recently convicted of recruiting jihadists in Brussels. Salah Abdeslam, a petty thief, is also under suspicion for renting and driving the perpetrators to and from the attacks. Parisian authorities have conducted a raid of Abaaoud’s apartment, killing him, and leaving one unidentified body.

Quirky – Zebras Escape Zoo, Taste Philly Freedom 

Two zebras recently roamed the streets of West Philadelphia on November 16 after escaping their enclosures at the UniverSoul Circus. The pair were set to perform outside the Mann Center for the Performing Arts when they escaped, evading police cars and animal control before being recaptured around 3:00 p.m.. The Philadelphia Police reported on the incident in their Twitter account, “Zebras in custody, they are already sporting old-timey prisoner getup ahead of trial and sentencing. Have faith, fellas.” Jackie Cane, with the Animal Activists of Philadephia commented on the incident, stating, “Wild animals in circuses, that’s expected to happen. You can’t control wild animals.”

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