The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


March Newsbytes #2

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By: Staff Writer Monica Tang


Local: Out-of-state enrollment in UCLA and Berkeley capped

Beginning the 2015-16 school year, the UC system will cap the enrollment of out-of-state students at UCLA and UC Berkeley, where demand is highest, as stated by UC President Janet Napolitano in a legislative hearing on March 3. According to Napolitano, the amount of California freshmen and transfer students accepted in the fall will not be raised unless state funding for UCs increases by $218 million. In recent years, enrollment of non-Californian residents, who pay about $23,000 more in tuition than Californians, has risen dramatically to account for a lack of revenue. Currently, they make up an unprecedented 20 percent of this year’s freshman class across the entire UC system and approximately 30 percent at UCLA and Berkeley.


 National: Justice Department releases ruling on Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown

The US Justice Department released a report on March 11 uncovering racially biased policing operations in Ferguson, Missouri along with their final decision to not indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of African American teenager Michael Brown. The ruling came six months after the incident, which sparked protests nationwide, and was based on the grounds that the act was committed in self-defense. One of the most serious points of the review, which also accused officers of using racial slurs and performing discriminatory traffic stops, is that in 90 percent of Ferguson cases that involved the use of force, the victim was African American. 161 of such cases did not result in any disciplinary action.


International: Israeli prime minister addresses Congress about nuclear deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on March 3 about the nuclear deal being negotiated between Iran, the US, and its allies, and was well-received by the Republican-dominated audience. Because Netanyahu had been invited by House Speaker John Boehner two weeks before Israeli elections without the approval of the White House, his address was boycotted by over 50 Democrats and heightened political tensions. In his address, Netanyahu urged the US to push for a permanent agreement, retain economic sanctions, and establish more nuclear restrictions, arguing that the proposed ten-year deal is “a bad deal” and only “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.” A deal is expected to be reached between Iran, the US, and its allies by March 24.


Quirky: Crackdown ordered on fairy doors in Wayford Woods

Hundreds of fairy doors concealing small tokens, notes, and fairy toys have appeared in the Wayford Woods of Crewkerne, Somerset, England, sparking the recent introduction of “fairy control measures.” Local citizens are unsure about their origins, but the first door, complete with a handle and hinges, appeared around year 2000 and opened to reveal a miniature bed. Since then, the amount of doors has rapidly increased to a current total of over 200, forcing the woods’ trustees to start pushing for the 29-acre woods’ conservation. Steven Acreman of Wayford Woods Charitable Trust said, “We’ve got little doors everywhere. We’re not anti-fairies but it’s in danger of getting out of control.”



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