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.

Please restrict entries to news stories from news sites (if you read about it on a blog then find an original report). Commentaries and editorials go in WIGO:Blogs. Crazy commentaries and editorials go in WIGO:Clogs.

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[edit] February 2016

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10Sheriff in North Carolina decides to put "In God We Trust" on all of the county's patrol cars.
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3The Free State Project has reached its goal of 20,000 signatories. New Hampshire, here they come!
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15Michigan senate passes a bill outlawing sodomy.
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13Maryland's Attorney General believes that the mere act of switching your phone nullifies your 'reasonable expectation' of privacy.
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18(Insert some witty comment about goats here, please.) “Russian prosecutors have begun considering whether media coverage of the unexpected friendship between a male tiger and goat at a safari park in the country’s far east counts as gay propaganda.”
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18Riots break out in Greece as the government debates about cutting pensions.
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16Oregon militia faces conspiracy charges over 'force, intimidation and threats'.
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44Roosh V cancels his meetings amid a global backlash against bullshit. Then he gets doxxed by Anonymous and makes a police complaint about the "threats" he's received. Bonus: The "King of Masculinity" lives in his mother's basement.
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8A UN panel rules that Julian Assange is being arbitrarily detained in the UK.
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-22Roosh V meetup planned for British Columbia.
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21Weed can actually permanently harm your short term memory, but you have to smoke a lot of it.
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16Boko Haram has been increasing their terrorist attacks in Cameroon.
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22What Donald Rumsfeld knew we didn’t know about Iraq
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34UK health minister Jeremy Hunt advises parents to look up rashes on Google rather than e.g. go to a doctor. Actual doctors: "Every paediatrician I have spoken to has been shocked" and this advice is non-negligibly fatal.
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39In November 2015, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA5) introduced H.R.4057, the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act, a bill that would close the emergency situation false reporting loophole against SWATers. Someone, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the best way to express their disagreement with her was to SWAT her.
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41Teenage girl admits making up migrant rape claim that outraged Germany
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22A month has passed since the Oregon standoff started. As a new wave of "Patriots" flood Burns, Oregon after the death of LaVoy, politics and concerns about the future of its businesses continues to strain the small town's kindness.

[edit] January 2016

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26An ACLU study finds "driving while black" really is a crime in Florida.
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7Labeling of genetically modified foods draws a packed house to New Hampshire committee
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46Massive amount of news comes out of Israel: The UN condemns the occupation of the Palestinian territories and in response France proposes peace talks and threatens to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state if they fail. There is hope that, according to the UN, that Israel and Iran are likely to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Also the Snowden reveals that the US and UK have been hacking Israeli drones in order to spy on the IDF.
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8EEOC announces proposed addition of pay data. The rules themselves.
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23The Smith Cloud is hurtling towards our galaxy and could trigger the creation of 200 million new stars.
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3480 percent of Chicago PD dash-cam videos are missing audio due to ‘officer error’ or ‘intentional destruction’.
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30It turns out that notoriously homophobic Pastor James Manning's World Atlah Church is up to its spires in debt over unpaid water/sewage bills and federal tax liens, and is ordered to be foreclosed upon in late February. Guess who they blame.Link contains auto-play video.
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14A huge step forward in AI as a computer can reliably beat humans at Go.
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5Another sign of the Apocalypse: Barbie has evolved!
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17The WHO says that the Zika virus is spreading at an explosive rate.
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22Sweden considers rejecting 80,000 refugees.
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8ISIS is spreading in Libya and the US considers bombing them.
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22Lead pollution disproportionately affects poor communities and racial minorities. And poor communities are overwhelmingly affected by extreme polluters.
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9They've won... for now. Answers in Genesis's Ark Encounter wins legal battle over the tax incentive withdrawal. There are currently no plans for the state to appeal the decision.
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26As the poorly thought out ban on legal highs comes into force in the UK, notably banning Poppers, a report concerning one of the substances that required a special exemption is released showing the hypocrisy of the bill.
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19Body cam footage from 2013 captures Oakland man’s final words—begging the cops to get off of him.
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26Denmark will now confiscate refugees' valuables as compensation for allowing them to come stay in Denmark.
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22Heat turned up on Bikram yoga founder and yogi Bikram Choudhury after a jury slams him with $7.396 million in compensatory/punitive damages for wrongful termination and sexual harassment. (Bonus hilarity when he claims under oath that he is also an expert in making brand new Ferraris from parts from "the junkyards")
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15UN report into Saudi-led strikes in Yemen raises questions over UK role.
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12The mathematics of conspiracy theories.
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22Mizzou professor who blocked reporters from protest charged with third degree assault
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15When a cop plays ninja everyone has a bad time.
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261 dead, 5 arrested (including Y'All Qaeda leader Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan) after a traffic stop in Oregon.. Link contains auto-play video.
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19Map: Creationism in schools.
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26CIA declassifies hundreds of UFO documents. (Not that this will slow UFO believers for a moment.)
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19Behold, genetically engineered autistic monkeys! They all laughed at me, they all laughed, but all I need now is a few typewriters and an inter-tube connection...
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21Indiana decides to create even more anti-LGBT laws.
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23SCOTUS rules in favor of alternative energy and denies North Dakota's fetal heartbeat law.
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28Obama bans solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. He outlines further reforms to the use of solitary confinement in a Washington Post op-ed.
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47A grand jury in Texas has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the video manufactroversy, and surprisingly indicts two of their accusers.
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23If only they'd had guns... oh wait.
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7Staunch Tory and defender of family values Cecil Parkinson dies
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36In which TERFs are so obnoxious that even Tories are taken aback.
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26Asylum seekers made to wear coloured wristbands in Cardiff leading to outbursts and abuse from local people against those seeking asylum. The wristbands cannot be resealed after being removed and are required to be worn if they want to eat.
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13EU judges convict Kosovo Serb politician Ivanovic of war crimes
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26SCOTUS sides with consumers on class action lawsuit in Campbell-Ewald Co. v Gomez.
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47New study says 0.0% of young Icelanders believe that God created the Earth
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4‘Royal wedding’ of atheist group, Richard Dawkins Foundation launches woman to top post
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23Mass school shooting in Canada kills five, two critically wounded.
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21According to a new report by the CDC, the prevalence of gastroschisis - a severe birth defect in which the infant is born with its intestines outside its body - doubled between 1995 and 2005. The reasons for this are as of yet unclear.
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46In a world filled with moral decline, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti has declared a fatwa against... chess.
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11Teen in Waseca, MN school bomb plot may return home. He's white and not Muslim.
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32Global temperatures in 2015 by far hottest in modern times.
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7Vladimir Putin most likely signed off on the assassination of ex-FSB spy, Alexander Litvinenko[wp].
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26At the U.S. Department of Justice, “prosecution of individual defendants was, on average, nearly seven times more likely than it was for corporations.”
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24The South Carolina state legislature continues to be a bunch of assholes, this time targeting women's rights.
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30Amnesty International has accused Apple, Microsoft and Samsung of using minerals mined by children to make their phones.
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31New evidence suggests a ninth planet lurking at the edge of the solar system.
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16Another Pakistani school has been shot up by the Taliban.
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20The UN suggests that ISIL is responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide and that airstrikes have caused mounting civilian deaths.
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20 Study finds most coverage of reproductive issues in newspapers written by men
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28 Denmark has just broken world records in wind power production.
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17ATM and overdraft fees top $6 billion at the big 3 banks
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33SCOTUS has ruled that Arkansas's ban on abortion after 12 weeks is unconstitutional.
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27In Italy, Religious Objections to Abortion Are Preventing Women from Having Them
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25UK court rules that the Terrorist Acts violates the freedom of press.
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0Islamophobia + the culture of fear = a little boy getting interrogated by the pigs for a spelling mistake.
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18Not the first mention of this, but genetically modified mosquitos to be used to eliminated dengue fever. Dengue infects ~100 million and kills ~25,000 each year, plus it's not fun to have. The GMO mosquitos require special treatment for the males to sire females, otherwise only male mosquitos are sired, and if released into the wild en masse in a few generations there are virtually no more mosquitos left.
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23A new study by Oxfam finds that the richest 62 people have more wealth than half of the Earth's population.
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17George Clooney claims the movie industry is moving backwards in term of diversity.; he notes how there were "20 white actors" as nominees and in "2004, certainly there were black nominees."
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39Paper claiming GMO dangers retracted amid allegations of data manipulation, Retraction Watch.
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21NBC: In Tel Aviv, four-year-old Palestinian, Ahmad Dawabseh, still recovering from his wounds, has not been told yet that his parents and baby brother died in the arson-murder committed last summer by Zionist-settler terrorists.
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23Westboro Baptists plan to picket a memorial concert for David Bowie.
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19Former Iran prisoner slams Clinton's call for new sanctions "Whenever I heard Hillary’s voice, my heart would sink. All she ever does with Iran is inflame tensions.”
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26The US lifts sanctions off of Iran after the IAEA confirms that their nuclear program is in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action[wp]. Meanwhile, the US and Iran have agreed upon a prison swap releasing WaPo journalist Jason RezaianBoth links contain auto-play videos.
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25St. Louis Taxpayers Aren't Finished Paying For The Stadium The Rams Abandoned. Found this link to HuffPo on Conservapedia.
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39A Pakistani boy made amends for unintentional blasphemy by cutting off his hand. His parents and other villagers praised him for it as did people from nearby villages. The imam who first called him a blasphemer was arrested for inciting violence. Roughly a week later the boy felt no regret.
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13PrEP might soon be offered on NHS like the pill
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10Charlie Hebdo backlash over 'racist' Alan Kurdi cartoon
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17Church of England suspends the Episcopalians over marriage equality. Update: Not quite, but they're very annoyed.
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12New York anti-encryption bill would force manufacturers into adding a 'backdoor' to every smartphone
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16100,000 school children face daily TSA-style security screening in New York City
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35Planned Parenthood Will Sue Center for Medical Progress Link contains auto-play video.
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44The "97% of climate scientists support anthropogenic global warming" line is bullshit. It's more like 99.9%.
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32For any Marylanders: HB16 is a typical "religious freedom = deny services to gay weddings" bill. Feel free to oppose.
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33Al-Jazeera America is closing down. It will be around until April 30. Al-Jazeera English will continue to operate online normally.
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47In the wake of the Paris attacks, French government considers a law that would outlaw strong encryption. Aside from the usual problems with this, the Paris terrorists actually used unencrypted communications. Do'h! UPDATE: In a rare meeting of politics, IT, and sanity, the bill was rejected.
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30Lumosity to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC Deceptive Advertising Charges for Its “Brain Training” Program
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28Anti-Gardasil anti-vaxx rhetoric disproven.
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16Everything that can be known that was wrong with Sean Penn's operational "security" in protecting his source -- the Mexican (former) fugitive El Chapo -- analyzed.
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46Support For Creationism In U.S. On The Wane, New Poll Indicates
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21Lawrence Krauss suggests that gravitational waves may have been discovered
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15UN aid finally reaches the besieged city of Madaya, Syria after the Pro-Assad and anti-Assad forces agree to a ceasefire.
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45Scientists have found that a single gene mutation, 600 million years ago, caused multi-cellular life.
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16Swedish police are accused of covering up sexual assault cases at a festival.
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34Journalist reflects on the brutal six years he spent as an innocent prisoner -- whom the U.S. knew was just a journalist -- in the US detention camp, Guantanamo.
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45David Bowie dead at 69
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24The European Space Agency wants to send a human team back to the moon by 2030.
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24The EPA confirms that neonicotinoids are responsible for Colony collapse disorder.
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35The word of the year is singular they. They is word of the year. Thanks, Obama!
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28Certain South Carolina State House Representatives don't understand how the federal government works, or marriage for that matter. Here we all thought that debate was dead.
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5A left-wing hero of Brazil, Congressman Jean Wyllys, comes under heavy fire from own party for Israel trip, anti-Palestinian comments. Significant international backlash.
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26John McCain is just concerned about Ted Cruz's citizenship , that's all.
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23With Israel having removed a book about Arab-Jewish romance from the school curriculum (as cited below), TimeOut Tel Aviv produces an interracial version of the 'first kiss' video.
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17With the party in civil war since the ousting of Nick Griffin, the British National Party has been de-listed by the Electoral Commission as a political party six months after failing to send in financial details.
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25Despite being much maligned by right wing opposition, the Californian High speed rail project jugs along and just awarded a construction contract for much cheaper than expected. Again.
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18TransCanada has sued the US for the rejection of the Keystone XL[wp] project under NAFTA.
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25Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in response to the California methane gas leak.
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25Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.
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11There’s almost no evidence that cancer screening saves lives. Naturally, commercial vendors of such services shut down continue business as usual.
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20Vox launches (non-exhaustive) database with dangerous dietary supplements, as "the truth is right now you have no way of knowing for sure what's in your supplement bottle."
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21The drug war in Mexico is making a dent on nation-wide life expectancy.
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25Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz continues to oppose legalizing marijuana – even as she has courted alcohol PACs as one of the largest sources of her campaign funding.
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25 Roy Moore issues administrative order temporarily banning Alabama judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. *headdesk, sigh*
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22The Saudi-led coalition's latest airstrike campaign in Yemen has damaged a hospital for the blind, wounding three people and making a handful of blind children homeless.
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31Nuclear weapons scare as South Korea detects an earthquake in North Korea's North Hamgyong province, where previous nuclear tests have been known to happen. UPDATE: It's an H-bomb. Maybe. Probably not an actual H-Bomb.
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24President Obama tearfully tries to take away your guns introduce some measures of gun control via executive actions.
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25Germany celebrates New Years with over 1000 men robbing and molesting others in Köln alone groups of men using a crowd of over 1000 as cover to rob and molest others. Sexual abuses by men of Arab or North African origin have also been reported in Helsinki (Finland), Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Berlin (Germany), Zurich (Switzerland) and Salzburg (Austria). May or may not be Ray Guns.
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34"I think we may have been [visited already]. We don't know for sure." Hillary Clinton. Asked about space aliens. We "have to get to the bottom" of UFOs. "Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51."
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28Saudi Arabia has executed prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr[wp], leading to Iranian condemnation and widespread Shia protests. Update: In response to the executions the UK has been urged to reveal its role in helping Saudi Arabia join the UN Human Rights Commission.
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22 Seymour Hersh reveals that the White House knowingly allowed Turkey to arm extremist groups and that the Joint Chiefs of Staffs violated presidential orders.
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10The TSA will stop accepting driver's licenses from the nine states that do not comply with the REAL ID Act.
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28 Iceland shows the world an economy based entirely on renewable energy is possible. Yes, this is from Forbes.
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53Armed Oregon militia led by Cliven Bundy's sons takes federal building in support of Hammond ranchers convicted of setting illegal fires on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property. Vow to stay, fight police.
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32A stunning defeat of business Minimum wage hikes are set to take effect starting January 1st across the United States.
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32Remember that Israeli wedding with celebration of the burning-to-death of an Arab baby from a week or two ago? 21-day prison sentence for soldier who let the revelers use his assault weapon in their partying.

[edit] December 2015

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13 Climate Accord Reached at Paris Summit
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20A California methane gas pipeline has been leaking since October and has emitted an estimated 150 million pounds of methane. This is considered one of the worst environmental disasters since the BP oil spill in 2010.
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22Justice, of sorts, for Ahmed Hajib Haider: Two sentenced to death, six to varied jailtime for one of the recent killings of secular Bangladeshi bloggers.
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21The NSA has been caught spying on Netanyahu and his top aides including “the contents of some of their private conversations with members of Congress and American-Jewish groups”
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4RIP Ian.
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35Israel bans novel on Arab-Jewish romance from schools for 'threatening Jewish Identity', miscegenation fears. Israeli authors and politicians blast the move.
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17The RINO dropped out.
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32Ethan Couch and mother arrested in Mexico
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28Lemmy Kilmister, finally Killed by Death.
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2Our God has been violated! Oklahoma man caught having sexual intercourse with a goat on surveillance video
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28 Iraqi forces have finally recaptured Ramadi from Daesh.
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25The Washington Post finds that police in the USA have fatally shot nearly 1,000 people in 2015.
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24Another hidden provision in the recent US budget prevents people who have visited or are nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan and Iraq, potentially including descendants of these countries' citizens, from being eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. Such legislation may be in violation with the US-Iran nuclear agreement.
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46First reported in paywalled Israeli paper, Israeli settlers at wedding celebration wave and stab a photo of baby Ali Dawabsheh who was burned alive in an arson attack. This sort of depravity apparently goes on all the time.
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18Latest Snowden revelation: U.S. and Brit spy agencies acquired the capability to covertly exploit security vulnerabilities in 13 different models of firewalls made by Juniper Networks, a leading provider of networking and Internet security gear.
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22The Turkish military has begun week long operationagainst the Kurdish PKK resulting in mounting civilian deaths. Meanwhile the pro-Kurdish HDP leader has been welcomed in Moscow.
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42The State of Israel is being sued by ex-ultra orthodox Jews who were left ignorant by state-funded yeshiva schools.
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18Recently discovered medical records from Hitler's stay in Landsberg prison seem to provide evidence that Hitler had cryptorchidism.
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39U.S. Dept of Homeland Security refuses to let UK Muslim couple and their nine kids board a plane to U.S. for Disneyland, a trip they'd been saving for.
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24The War on Christmas that doesn't involve not getting a reindeer on your coffee cup: the Sultanate of Brunei has banned public celebration of Christmas. Somalia makes it two.
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29FDA relaxes restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood; the lifetime ban is gone, but they still have to wait a year after having sex.
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42SpaceX has done it. Stage 1 of a Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth and landed at Cape Canaveral.
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28Please please please let this be Martin Shkreli's main defense in court.
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0Oberlin College students are disrespected by ersatz ethnic cafeteria food.
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21Lindsey Graham is out.
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41 Politifact fact-checks Bernie Sanders' comparison of healthcare in the United States to that in the United Kingdom and France: he tells the truth. Amazing, right?
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19AP: Dovish Israeli groups say they face harsh crackdown. Somewhat new for mainstream media to be looking at this.
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39 Possibly huge news out of Mexico - a vaccine against Dengue fever[wp] has been approved, marking the first time prevention or cure is available for the three deadliest tropical diseases: Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Dengue
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-62Yes, it's Fox "News," but their poll claims that among Democrats, 45 percent favor banning Muslims from entering the U.S. if Trump’s name is not mentioned, yet when the plan is identified as Trump’s, support drops to 25 percent. Misleading phrasing.
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24Another likely Srebrenica mass grave found in the village of Kozluk. Investigators suggest the grave contains remains of victims who were buried in July 1995 as part of Europe's worst massacre since WWII.
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36Almost 100 drug offenders have had their sentences commuted by Obama. Most shouldn't have been imprisoned anyway.
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6Rather than carry Israelis (in violation of Kuwait law), Kuwait Airways drops NYC-London route
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52Where’s Bernie? Media ignores Sanders though he’s more popular than Trump
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5130% of Republicans support bombing Agrabah. Agrabah is the fictional sultanate of Disney's Aladdin. Also, 41% of Trump supporters. 19% of Democrats.
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38Hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques -- from shootings to assaults to arson -- across the United States have tripled in the last month.
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18Darwin Day resolution in the Senate
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16The Institute for Creation Research is looking to expand its current headquarters in Dallas with a museum and planetarium and claims to have the funds necessary. The "Dallas Museum of Science and Earth History" would need a zoning change to be built so it's up to the city council (or a random mutation?) to start any construction.
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26In newly released documents investment wonder kid Martin Shkreli performance was shown to be so terrible that during times the S&P gained 9-15% he could lose all of new investor money in about 2 months.
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35During a news conference, Putin endorses Trump as "absolute leader in the presidential race" and "talented beyond doubt"....honour among thieves??
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34 Cuba and the United States have resumed commercial flights.
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8Superb investigative journalism on rape, rape victims, and disturbing mistakes in law enforcement approaches and procedures.
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12Ethan Couch, the rich kid who was acquitted of drunk driving and the manslaughter of 4 people, has not contacted his probation officer and is now presumed to be on the run.
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37Ehsan Abdulaziz, a Saudi businessman, has been acquitted of raping an 18 year old girl. His defense was that he fell and accidentally raped her.
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45Well-loved and heroic CEO Martin Shkreli, the one who arbitrarily raised the price of a life-saving cancer drug by 5000% for personal profit, has been indicted for fraud and conspiracy. Not for his egregious gouging of cancer patients, but for ripping off other rich people.
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34New security measures in Hebron mean that Palestinian residents living under Israeli control will be assigned "numbers" EDIT: All Israeli citizens have been assigned "numbers" since 1982, and Palestinians as well. But that shouldn't stand in the way of a good "Israel is Nazis" story.
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23The new House budget includes tax cuts, lifts the US ban on exporting oil, and includes CISA, another domestic spying bill.
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30An evangelical college has suspended a professor for posting on Facebook that Christians and Muslims "worship the same God."
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29Hillary Clinton portrays herself as a crusader against corporate crime while accepting cash from a "shadow bank" sanctioned by SEC; the president of the Wall Street firm hosts parties for her in his home.
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17The United States is no longer seeking a regime change in Syria, at least for now.
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21Saudi Arabia has elected 20 women to local government seats in its first election with enfranchised women. 20 out of over 2000 is a start, at least.
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25Saudi Arabia has unveiled an anti-terrorist coalition that includes 34 Islamic countries. Though it is made up of Sunni majority countries and doesn't include Shia majority countries like Iraq or Iran.
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36Children in Flint, Michigan have so much lead in their blood that a state of emergency has been declared.
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30Putin has signed a law allowing Russia to overturn international courts decisions.
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36Thai man faces up to 37 years in prison. His barbaric and heinous crime? Making a sarcastic comment about the king's dog.
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19It appears Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was taken down by an electrical failure that turned it into a flying brick.
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19JAMA Pediatrics has published a study finding that antidepressants taken during pregnancy increase risk of autism by 87 percent. Jenny McCarthy wasn't involved.
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31Italian police seize 3500 fake apostolic blessings. How do you tell?
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19Real medicines have lies told about their effectiveness too - Aussies order Nurofen "pain specific" range removed from shelves for false advertising - it is sold for up to twice the price of the regular product - but has exactly the same makeup.
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21Taking a very liberal approach to Mohammed's warning against the killing of innocents, DAESH now rules that children with deformities and developmental problems are to be euthanised. Note that this story has very doubtful provenance (Snopes)
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50...except that the preschool teacher made it up.
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-9Neo-Nazi attacks against Muslims? Bans on religious clothing across Europe? Anti-immigration hysteria over Syria? Turns out DAESH considers the biggest threat in Europe to be French preschool teachers and their secular values.
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22Lindsey Graham has a stopped clock moment, allying with Jon Stewart to continue funding for 9/11 responders.
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41Le Pen's National Front gets its ass handed to it.
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11Art Bell retires (again), due to some violent nut shooting at him.
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