Today In Events: Lunar New Year Events Canceled Over Coronavirus Fears; Inside Today's Over-the-Top Children's Parties; Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe Disrupt Australian Open With Protest
1. LUNAR NEW YEAR EVENTS CANCELED OVER CORONAVIRUS FEARS: Anxious about the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, several groups are canceling or postponing their Lunar New Year events scheduled for this weekend, or expecting lower attendance as people avoid crowds. Among those canceled is the Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar in Queens. The New York Times: "But this year, before the event, a paper cutting artist who had recently returned from Wuhan, China, told the organizers she was quarantining herself at home, as a precaution against the new coronavirus. A hand puppet company also pulled out, the organizers said in an interview. ... City health officials have urged New Yorkers to go about their lives. They say there is no reason for healthy people to shy away from public gatherings—even those who recently returned from Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated."
2. INSIDE TODAY'S OVER-THE-TOP CHILDREN'S PARTIES: The stakes of high-end children's birthday parties are rising again, with parents paying event planners for extravagant celebrations that can cost into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Business Insider: "Nowadays, kids’ birthday celebrations can put most weddings to shame, with Instagram and celebrities inspiring a seemingly endless game of one-upmanship. Instead of gift bags filled with bubbles, Nike high-tops are doled out. Ball pits are custom $5,000 creations, and sleeping bags have been replaced by bespoke slumber-party tents complete with breakfast trays, 'fairy lights,' and 'accent cushions.'”
3. MARTINA NAVRATILOVA AND JOHN MCENROE DISRUPT AUSTRALIAN OPEN WITH PROTEST: Tennis icons Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe disrupted the Australian Open on Tuesday, marching onto the court to protest the naming of Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne Park. The Nation: "After their veterans’ doubles match, Martina climbed up into the umpire’s chair and tried to address the crowd as to why they thought the stadium should be renamed and rebranded. But she was only able to say, 'I’ve been speaking out about an issue for a while now and John McEnroe is here to join me and push the conversation forward' before her audio feed was cut. The issue with Court is not her place on tennis’s Mt. Olympus (she won a record 24 Grand Slam titles in her storied career). It’s the fact that Court, now a Pentecostal minister, has been a raging homophobe, transphobe, and all-around bigot for decades."