World in Brief


Corinne Mitchner

The identity of “Jihadi John,” the masked militant featured in ISIS’s recent surge of violently disturbing beheading videos, has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, born in Kuwait and raised in London. Appearing in the videos demanding ransoms for the exchange of lives of captive journalists and service workers, he is just one of many Westerners that are being recruited into the ranks of ISIS. Last week it was announced that three missing girls from the UK were traveling to Turkey in order to join ISIS. It is suspected that they are now in Syria, which would mean that authorities can no longer make efforts to find the teenagers. Recruitment through social media is a new tactic that ISIS has employed, and, “The director of the FBI announced Wednesday it is investigating radicalization in every U.S. state,” ABC news said.


White and gold or black and blue? Controversy ensued Thursday afternoon and into the weekend when a photo of the dress was posted onto Tumblr and within hours was over the internet. For some viewers, it was white and gold, and for others, it was blue and black. “Duje Tadin, associate professor for brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, says it may be because of variations in the number of photoreceptors called cones in the retina that perceive the color blue. The human eye has about six million cones that are sensitive to green, red or blue. Signals from the cones go to the brain, which interprets them as color,” Jonathan Mahler of the New York Times said. Regardless of the biological explanations, hundreds of thousands of views have been landed on major sites like Buzzfeed and Tumblr and many more have offered their inputs into the argument.


The Measles outbreak has been documented considerably since Disney’s outbreak over the holidays. Almost a third of the 130 cases in California have been connected to the theme park. The virus most likely was carried from someone who had traveled abroad, but they are not able to confirm this as they do not know who the person was that started the outbreak. Other cases in other states have been reported as well, with some of them tied to the Disneyland outbreak. “Federal recommendations call for the first dose of measles vaccination, known as MMR, to be given at 12 to 15 months of age, with a second dose between ages 4 and 6. California law requires two doses of the measles vaccination before kindergartners can enroll, but parents may obtain exemptions for the vaccines if they say the inoculations conflict with their personal beliefs,” reports the LA Times. The symptoms of measles are very severe and can lead to death in some cases.