The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


February Newsbytes #2

Newsbytes Masthead

By: Staff Writer Shivane Sabharwal


The number of people with measles in California, a highly contagious disease that is widespread throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, has grown to 92 according to the California Department of Public Health. In the Bay Area alone, there are a total of 12 cases in Alameda, Santa Clara, Marin, and San Mateo counties. The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends that children get two vaccine doses: the first at 12 to 15 months and the second at four to six years of age. Public health experts recommendall children to be immediately vaccinated as they would protect both themselves and babies in their communities that are too young to be vaccinated.



Fifty years after Harper Lee published the iconic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, a second book, Go Set a Watchman, that follows Scout Finch’s adult life and was originally written before To Kill a Mockingbird, will be published. Lee did not complete the novel recently; she finished it in the mid-1950s after her publisher urged her to write it. Lee later lost the novel, and did not know that it had survived until her lawyer, Tonja Carter, discovered it. After sharing it with some of her close friends and receiving favorable feedback, she decided to publish the novel. The book is set for release on July 14.



At least 31 people have been reported dead after a Taiwanese TransAsia plane crashed into a river near Taipei on February 4. The domestic flight had taken off from Taipei Songshan airport and was headed towards the Kinmen Islands when it clipped a bridge and crashed. A number of people out of the 58 on the flight were also injured. Rescue teams rushed to the site and put 15 located passengers on dinghies in order to transfer them to the shore.



A barbershop located in the Atlanta area has begun offering a haircut for kids called the “Benjamin Button.” The proprietor of the barbershop, Russell Frederick, says that the haircut is meant to be a last resort for kids that are in need of discipline. Frederick first gave the haircut to his 12-year-old child when his son’s academic record was dropping and reported that his son’s grades increased dramatically after the haircut. Although the punishment achieved intended effects on his son, Frederick says that some people have compared the haircut to emotional abuse, and that the punishment should only be used if conventional methods fail to work.

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