The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Newsbytes: Chinese New Year, Kalamazoo Shooting, Uganda Presidential Election, and John Lennon’s Hair

By: Staff Writers Michelle Dalarossa and Amber Lee


San Francisco’s annual Chinese New Year Parade took place on February 20, drawing an estimated 750,000 spectators onto the city streets. Celebrating the Year of the Monkey, the parade featured more than 20 floats with monkey-themed decorations. There were also performances by marching bands and student dancers from local schools and performing arts organizations. A team of about 100 martial artists carrying a 268-foot dragon puppet concluded the finale. The parade is a San Francisco tradition that started in the 1860s, and it is one of the oldest and largest Lunar New Year celebrations outside of Asia.



A gunman went on an hours-long rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan on the evening of Saturday, February 20, leaving six people dead and two critically injured. Police identified and arrested Jason Dalton as the suspect, a 45-year-old Uber driver who picked targets seemingly at random. Over the course of more than four hours, Dalton went on three separate killing episodes, shooting a woman outside of an apartment complex, a father and son at a car dealership, and five people in two cars at a restaurant. Dalton was taken into custody on Sunday. He has since admitted his involvement in the shootings and been charged with murder in a court hearing.



Yoweri Museveni, who first became Ugandan president in 1986, won the Ugandan presidential elections on February 20, extending his 30-year rule for another five-year term. According to the electoral commission, Museveni received the largest portion of the vote at 60.8 percent, while Kizza Besigye, the leading opposition candidate, came in second with 35.4 percent. Besigye was arrested multiple times by Ugandan authorities as voting was going on, and he criticized the election process as fraudulent. International observers from the European Union have also expressed concerns that the Ugandan election was not transparent or well-managed, mentioning cases of ballots being delivered late to polling stations.



An anonymous buyer purchased a lock of John Lennon’s hair for $35,000 at Heritage Auction in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, February 20. The four-inch lock is the largest piece of Lennon’s hair ever sold at an auction and was cut by German Barber Klaus Baruck in 1966, shortly before Lennon starred as Private Gripweed in the movie How I Won The War and a month after the release of the Beatles’ critically acclaimed album, Revolver. The buyer is a UK based collector of entertainment memorabilia, auctioneers said.



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