RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?

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Keep up to date with all the interesting world news and current events that relate to RationalWiki's mission here. The most popular entries are found at Best of the world and the older entries found in the archives.

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[edit] December 2014

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11Hopefully this is the last we'll ever hear of Andrew Wakefield.
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40Ohioan county jail threatens solitary confinement on a Muslim woman for refusing to go to Church; woman sues state for violating the constitution.
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29Teacher fired by Roman Catholic school for having in vitro fertilization wins $1.8 million verdict but there will be an appeal.
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10To be fair, there are at least several people involved in Bitcoin who are not money-laundering drug dealers.
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12Obama: Just release the stupid goddamn film. Sony: Okay, okay! Fuck you, everyone.
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23Farewell, Her Excellency The Rev. Sir Doctor Stephen Tyrone Mos Def Colbert, D.F.A., Heavyweight Champion of the World** La Première Dame de France.
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15Persecution of atheism and secular humanism is on the rise ... as these ideas become more widely accepted as legitimate. (A report on the International Humanist and Ethical Union's Freedom of Thought Report.)
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21Sony pulls the release of Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview due to empty North Korean threats. Fucking cowards. Update: Perfect timing, as the Times finally confirms what was long suspected. (It appears the regime is now so unstable that it will cyberattack Hollywood companies to prevent objectionable films from getting smuggled in. Holy Streisand... maybe Babs is no longer worthy.)
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20Not only are wealth gaps at nearly unprecedented levels, actual corporate control is in the hands of even fewer than previously thought
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7Londoners on the Tube, so cold, so unfriendly, so... singalong?
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36"Are we entering a new Cold War?" Well, the Russian economy is imploding and the US is about to lift a little-known embargo... Update: And one of the most counter-intuitve foreign policy initiatives of all time has ended. US to re-establish full relations with Cuba after 50 years.
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19The Taliban massacre over 100 schoolchidren and their teachers, in Pakistan.
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11After Bush and Shrub, what name for this one?
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10See, it takes top Silicon Valley disruptive innovators like Uber to see a hostage siege and immediately think "w00t, price-gouging opportunity!"
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17UKIP candidate Kerry Smith resigns after a series of racist, homophobic and elitist remarks. Apparently, outbreaks of racism and homophobia are side-effects of morphine. Perhaps it should say so on the bottle.
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9A number of people were taken hostage by an Islamic extremist in a cafe in Sydney, Australia, five escaped. The police stormed the cafe and three including the gunman were killed.
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19ISIS leader: "If there was no American prison in Iraq, there would be no ISIS"
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23Bob Jones University slammed over its handling of sexual abuse incidents in report by a Christian organization they contracted.
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38Raw milk company defends product after 3yo's death ... a few weeks after sharing a Facebook image mocking safety concerns about raw milk.
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17Health officials in Michigan are sounding the alarm thanks to a high rate of vaccine waivers. In California, whooping cough has made a comeback. And the National Hockey League is experiencing an outbreak of mumps.
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31In a perfect example of the Streisand Effect, staff member of the United States Senate tries to remove reference to torture in the Wikipedia article of the CIA torture report.
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32Greenpeace may have unintentionally damaged the Nazca site in Peru; later apologises.
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32No tax breaks for the Ark Park. Update: Here's the actual letter from Kentucky’s Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart to Ken Ham. It's a thing of beauty.
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19Death and rape wishes, still an acceptable part of Twitter discourse.
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27Czech scientists manage to create all the components of RNA in an experiment simulating an asteroid impact.
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22Guess who's running for president again! (GOP national primaries: better than any reality show.)
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34Illinois General Assembly revives recording ban on cops by citizens, makes it a felony.
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40The CIA torture report is out. Highlights: they gravely lied to Congress and the White House, understated the brutality of their methods and the number of torture victims and exaggerated the value of the gathered information or even fabricated it; “At least 26 detainees were wrongfully held”; the CIA itself leaked classified information to journalists, exaggerating the success of interrogation methods in an effort to gain public support. Guardian summary, live feed, background; NYT key points, analysis; Full document (huge PDF). Update: Telling.
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33You know that freedom of religion thing? It cuts both ways.
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29Trickle down economics slows growth, says the OECD
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29Scott Lively runs out of appeals; to stand trial for crimes against humanity.
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20The Satanists are at it again: Holiday Satanic Display Approved By Florida Capitol
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13A scientific study by Maggie Simpson, Edna Krabappel, and Kim Jong Fun has been accepted by two journals. "These outlets both belong to a world of predatory journals that spam thousands of scientists, offering to publish their work — whatever it is — for a fee, without actually conducting peer review"
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24Richard Dawkins apparently had not heard about the men's rights movement.
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34Chemical weapon attack on furry convention. A jar of chlorine powder was used, indicating a very unsophisticated attacker. 19 hospitalized, 18 now released, none dead, thankfully. Additionally, as reality has a sense of morbid irony, a nearby dog show took con-goers in for shelter.
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37Science being awesome again. Six years after launch, New Horizons sends back an "I'm awake!" message, as it prepares for final approach to Pluto.
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33British High Court overrules Jehovah's Witnesses' objections to blood transfusion for son
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19Paid fossil energy lobbyists posing as attorneys general in more than a dozen states. Republicans – who could have guessed that.
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52In view of the Hobby Lobby decision, the Satanic Temple strikes back by filing a lawsuit to exempt their followers from reading pro-life literature which is required in some states when planning to have an abortion. Their argument is that since their beliefs are solely based on scientific facts, and because much of this literature's content is not based on science, having to read it would inflict their freedom of religion.
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17Rolling Stone has cast doubt on its own article relating to a rape scandal at UVA, following discrepancies found by the Washington Post that cast doubt on the veracity of Jackie, the supposed rape victim's claims. Basically a retraction here and a statement from the fraternity in question here.
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25Being Black in Public claims another victim. He was "verbally challenging" the cop, so clearly summary execution was justified... provided the cop's name was Dredd and this was Mega City One... The cop claims to have felt a gun in his pocket, but no, he was unarmed, and it was actually a prescription medicine vial. The police account conflicts with what other witnesses say. What is it with all these black men who try to draw weapons they don't have?
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14Good tidings of great joy: there's a new Ayn Rand novel coming out.
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19Indiana cops are a bunch of dicks.
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10A football-loving goat joins in a game.
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15There's a campaign to put McDonald's in churches.
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21 If you're black in the USA you can't go down the stairs in the place where you live without risking that a rookie police officer will "accidentally" shoot you dead! While Akai Gurley was dying the policeman who shot him didn't even get medical help Why are so many black people the victims of supposed police fatal mistakes and not others? This happens too often and is no coincidence.
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27Bill passes in the Michigan House of Representatives to make it legal to discriminate, on religious grounds.
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13I was hoping that they'd at least be allowed to run for office.
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31Canadian family prays over corpse in home for six months in hopes of resurrection.
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7A Lancastrian vicar is arrested over a suspicious infant death after a series of incidents.
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12Tory Rebel MP Mark Pritchard is arrested on suspicion of rape, and is bailed until January on an election year.
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11The British courts effectively rule on foetal personhood
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19Yet again a grand jury wouldn't indict a white police officer who caused the death of a black man. Eric Garner refused to be handcuffed and felt police were harassing him for trying to break up a fight. Obama with other leading US politicians are trying to address a breakdown in trust between police and communities and Al Sharpton says the grand jury system is broken.
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23Not-So-Complementary Medicine: A recent Australian study has indicated that many alternative therapies can reduce or compromise the effectiveness of concurrent chemotherapy or conventional cancer treatment.
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14Obviously it's a mad biotinker wanting to revive the clock tower sniper in a robotic spider body. Obviously.
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18Hypothetically, if a bill was tabled with the name "No Social Security for Nazis Act," would anyone (in the most polarized Congress of all time) vote against it? So far, no.
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24HIV is evolving - very publically, in a time scale that is readily understandable, to become somewhat milder.
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38Cameron knows which sexual acts are bad and bans them from porn produced in the UK. IF THE WOMEN EJACULATE THEN THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON. (Cameron must not be a Monty Python fan. His list "blows away" the subject matter of one of their most popular -- and one of their most NSFW -- short songs.)
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27If you're communications director to a Congressman, don't diss Obama's kids. Especially if you ever did something newsworthy as a teenager, or have ever shown any lack of class.
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11Outgoing congressidiot Steve Stockman has introduced a bill demanding America conduct a study on what Rep. Steve Stockman has named the "Stockman Effect."
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11"Hands down the weirdest story I've ever covered." (Of course it has to involve North Korea.)

[edit] November 2014

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15Bad weekend for Syria: While Islamic State militants drink expensive Red Bull in front of impoverished masses in Raqqa, Kobani appears to be under attack from the Turkish border.
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21@keithlaw is back on Twitter. First tweet back: "Eppur si muove."
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23Relevant to our interests: Swedish Christmas Goat built again this year. Last year it was burned down for the 27th time. Live feed here.
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31“With prosecutors like this, Darren Wilson never needed a defense lawyer.” She gave to the Grand Jury a 1979 state law which was ruled unconstitutional in 1985. This unconstitutional law allowed police to shoot fleeing suspects just for fleeing.
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26Same-sex marriage is coming to Finland.
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27President Obama: the only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans.
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53President Obama uses this year's turkey pardon to stick it to the GOP on immigration: "I am here to announce what I'm sure will be the most talked about executive action this month. Today, I am taking an action fully within my legal authority, the same kind of action taken by Democrats and Republican presidents before me, to spare the lives of two turkeys, Mac and Cheese, from a terrible and delicious fate. . . They'll get to live out the rest of their days respectively at a Virginia estate with 10,000 acres of roaming space. I know some will call this amnesty."
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40Researchers: There isn't a STEM worker shortage, industry just wants cheap indentured labour.
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-7This title was derived algorithmically. That's why it's so bad.
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31Update on Ferguson: A Grand Jury isn't going to indict officer Darren Wilson over the death of Michael Brown. America.
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58Israel says "fuck you" to 20% of its population.
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31Yet another black American youngster, this time 12 years old, shot dead because he carried a fake firearm (an AirSoft replica with the identifying orange marker removed) and didn't obey a police order to raise his hands. (Update: Police allege he was waving his gun in the air. A surveillance video of the incident exists, and will eventually be released to the public.)
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31Judge to sovereign citizen: No, you cannot just mint your own silver "liberty dollars." (47-page judgement, a masterpiece of judicial literature.)
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23The Plague is enveloping Madagascar. If it's anything like the Ebola reaction, expect Nigerians to be treated with misplaced suspicion.
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38Former Reparative therapy leader John Smid marries same-sex partner
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29BENGHAZI! ...what a waste of time.
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26House Republicans vote to "turn the EPA into a Trade Show." (Will be vetoed.)
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17When batshits collide: Christopher Monckton lends support to Australian right-wing evangelical Christian micro-party Rise Up Australia.
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28And so begins the second (third?) phase of the Republican Civil War: Obama pulls a Reagan/Bush/whatever, announcing executive action to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. (Get ready for a historic two years.)
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26Ultra-conservative Arizona sues GM for $3 billion due to safety defects that are harming and killing Americans, supporting the American people for a change instead of corporations.
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39The people of Rudolf Hess's home town find a constructive way to deal with the annual Neo-Nazi march
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26"Not conducive to the public good" Julien Blanc not permitted UK visa.
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16The Keystone XL pipeline is down... for now.
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37Catholic Church: Having to defend against discrimination claims is a violation of our religious freedom.
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39Putin finds Wikipedia dangerously informative, and has announced already underway plans for a Government-controlled version.
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36NRA claim: If more people had the right to carry guns in public, violent crime rates would drop. Stanford University study: Nope.
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48While MRAs are busy complaining about video game journalism, UK charity #BEAT starts campaign to draw attention to men who suffer from eating disorders.
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33US woman faces bankruptcy after being taken to wrong hospital, whilst unconscious.
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16Oh, by the way, the U.S. government is tracking Americans' cell phones with a fleet of spy aircraft.
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13Russia plans long-range patrols as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. Russia vs. the United States just got more likely... but probably to waste gas trolling.
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30The Ferguson police now have some allies: The Ku Klux Klan. This will end well. Update: Anonymous starts unmasking Klansmen. Update 2: The Klan reacts predictably.
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39"The credibility of Italy's entire scientific community has been restored." Manslaughter charges against six of seven Italian scientists involved in the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake forecasts have been overturned on appeal, with the remaining charge downgraded.
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22Jovian, Lemur mascot and co-host of late 90's animal edutainment show Zoboomafoo, has passed.
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37Philae touches down. Photos of the comet's surface have emerged. Also alien conspiracy theries have emerged.
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23South Carolina becomes the next Homogay™ domino to fall.
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28It appears we need to have a lot more of these APEC summits (aside from the Star Trek regalia and Putin hitting on everyone): China has agreed to its first serious climate targets, bringing the denial staircase to #10.
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3Obamacare architect is bad at extemporaneous speaking.
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30Glenn Beck admits he has a 'mysterious brain illness'. Any jokes would be tasteless. And redundant.
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30With the clearing of a New York doctor, there are now no known possible cases of Ebola in the United States.
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3Death panels are coming to the interwebz! Obama backs net neutrality; Ted Cruz:"'Net Neutrality' is Obamacare for the Internet."
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51Sorry, Harry Reid, you're too Democratic to be a Mormon.
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20Mexico's ongoing cartel problems seem to be going critical: Protesters Set Presidential Palace On Fire. (They're protesting missing students believed to have been murdered by the cartels and corrupt police.)
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20Gorbachev warns of a new cold war caused by the west not handling the end of the old one correctly.
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12Remember the craziest challenge to Obamacare yet? Well, four of those members of the Supreme Court have now decided to bring it up for a ruling next year!
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32The results of the 2014 elections are in for science: everybody loses.
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32Loathsome pick-up artist Julien Blanc thrown out of Australia.
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-15In a scene not unlike that one Torchwood episode, police in Wales kill a murder suspect after he is found eating a woman's eyeball.
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20Perfect record ruined! U.S. Appeals Court upholds gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. (Dubya really knew how to pick judges.)
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3453% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people.
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8Coming soon to a physics set in the store near you: Collider@home (LHC@home is taken already)
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10What is Sarbanes-Oxley law good for? Nailing commercial fishers for throwing away undersized fish destroying evidence.
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21We can't employ you. You're Irish and, thus, a drunk.
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45Florida, where you are free to shoot your fellow man, so long as you make sure you kill them, but don't give homeless people food.
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31Meanwhile in Britain: A new study concludes that migrants pay more through tax than take through Welfare.
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19The Republicans have taken control of the US Senate and retain control of the House. In other news, Marijuana is legal in Alaska/Oregon/DC and we have 100 women in Congress. Update: Well that didn't take long.
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14"The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership threatens to blow the sovereignty of parliament unless it can be stopped"
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10Baltimore toddler shoots three-year old in the leg with a shotgun.
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27Solar power is getting dramatically cheap.
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42New Zealand Green party to its MP's: we support evidence based medicine, so no you can't be health spokesman if you sign a stupid petition urging the WHO to treat ebola with homeopathy!
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24A UK boy, 15 at the time admitted stabbing a teacher to death and planned more homicides. Fortunately guns aren't easy to get in the UK or there could have been a mass shooting.
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31Death with dignity advocate, Brittany Maynard dies with dignity aged 29. Maynard suffered from cancer and became the latest spotlight in the right to die debate, surprise the Vatican and many social conservatives condemned the right to die.
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