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U.S. Issues High Warning Against Travel to Mexico

Live dangerously…or don’t.

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Yesterday, the U.S. State Department issued an advisory telling travelers to avoid five states in Mexico due to high crime.

Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas have all been categorized as Level Four “Do Not Travel” states due to widespread homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

According to BBC News, Mexico has had a record number of murders in 2017.

Other states in Mexico have received Level Two and Level Three warnings, “Exercise Increased Caution,” and “Reconsider Travel.” Among these states are Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chipapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Estada de Mexico, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico City, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Vera Cruz, Yucatan, among others.

To break it down, here are popular tourist destinations in their respective threat categories:

Level Two (Exercise Caution): Ensanada, Rosarito, Tijuana, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Palenque, Mexico City, Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, the Riviera Maya, Chitchen Itza, Merida

Level Three (Reconsider Travel): Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Chapala, Sayulita

Level Four (Do Not Travel): Acapulco, Mazatlan

This might be a good time to reconsider your spring break plans.

Carla is a recent graduate of Touro College in New York City, where she always wondered if being on the debate team was an acceptable replacement for athletics. She has previously worked for the Mayor's Office of New York, as well as ABC7 Eyewitness News. She will happily accept any job offers and can be reached via Twitter.

National News

Snapchat Adds New Bitmoji Character Options

How excited are you for Bitmoji Deluxe?

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Snapchat announced earlier this week a new way to customize your personal character with 1.9 septillion different options through Bitmoji Deluxe.

The updated software allows for users to snap a photo of themselves that shows while they customize their avatar. Users can now choose from over 100 different hair, hair treatment and skin colors.

And yes, you can even change your eyebrows!

Bitmoji Deluxe allows the user to take a selfie of themselves to do a side-by-side comparision of how they want their Bitmoji too look. It is also eliminating the need for only heteronormative avatar, allowing the user to feel comfortable using both feminine and masculine qualities to create their Bitmoji.

Snapchat bought the Bitmoji program for $64.2 million in 2016, and ever since then Bitmoji’s have been an integral addition to the identity of the app by allowing the user their custom made Bitmoji as the profile picture, the Snap Map feature, and even allows the user to add creativity to their stories.

Most observers feel the update will be effective in creating a more friendly experience for users.

It is safe to say that this update will only help but continue the popularity of Snapchat as not just an app, but a personalized experience every time you use it.

 

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Academics

Viewpoint: The Future Is Female at Oxford University

Goals are being achieved at the oldest English speaking university in the world.

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As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is one rich in history. Countless notable alumni consist include comedians, poets, philosophers, and world leaders.

The distinguished school has made another recent milestone with their freshman class — women outnumber men applying to University of Oxford. This really shows some impressive steps towards educational equality.

Women were first able to attend Oxford in 1879 when Lady Margaret Hall opened exclusively for women. Women were able to attend lectures but could not obtain a formal Oxford degree. Following this, women were given full membership to Oxford in 1920.

Oxford’s colleges did not start to become co-educational institutions until 1974 when five all male colleges began accepting women. All of Oxford’s affiliated colleges became co-educational in 2008 when its final all-women college (St. Hilda’s College) began accepting men.

This year, women have been applying to the University of Oxford in record numbers. According to sources, Oxford’s freshman class from the fall of 2017 totaled 1070 females compared to 1025 men. While the application numbers for men and women was the same, more women chose to attend.

A spokesperson from Oxford told The Guardian, ““While it’s too early to call this a trend based on one year’s numbers, it is a welcome sign of progress for female applicants to Oxford.”

While this trend can certainly be found at other colleges and universities throughout the English-speaking world, the fact that one of the most prestigious Universities is following the trend speaks volumes: Women are not only achieving higher rates of education, but are earning higher rates of top-tier quality education.

Some of these women may very well become the next notable alumni of the University of Oxford.

Data on admissions can be found through the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS).

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Health

Paris is Dealing With A Serious Rat Infestation Problem

This is in no way as cool as Pizza Rat.

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Paris has found itself in the midst of an infestation. Of rats. While all large cities — and most smaller ones — are home to a certain number of the rodents, the rat population on the banks of the Seine seems to have reached frightening levels.

 Caused partially by the Seine’s record high flooding and partially by an apparent immunity to poison, the rats have come to the surface and multiplied. Hordes of them have been seen in parks causing portions of those parks to be closed to the public and horrified waste collectors have opened dumpsters to find them full, not of garbage, but of rats.

 Experts hypothesize that there are about two rats in the city per every Parisian, equivalent to about 4.4 million rats in the inner city alone–each rat the potential host of upwards of a dozen parasites.

 Steps have been taken to reduce these numbers, including cordoning off certain areas and using various poisoning methods, but none seem to have taken hold.

 As of now, the famous City of Lights offers both romance…and many, many rodents.  

OK, that was disgusting. Makes you wish for the old days when we had wholesome rodents like Pizza Rat:

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