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] April 2017

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18Yogurt company Chobani sues conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for allegedly posting false information about the company.
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20Trump complains about "fake" polls giving him very low approval ratings.
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32Conservatives rejoice as Le Pen makes her way into the second round of the French election. Conveniently, they leave out that Macron received the most votes.
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14For the first time ever, a judge in Italy has ruled that excessive cellphone use can result in brain cancer. (more details translated from an Italian article) The 2016 study mentioned in the Newsweek article was criticized for its apparent flaws and lack of publication in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, and there seems to be little scientific justification for this kind of ruling.
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12Former Colombian presidents and anti-peace accord with the FARC hard liners Alvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana took a trip to Mar-a-Lago and met with Trump. Meanwhile, Nicky had to go and mouth off and claims that Colombia secretly plans to massacre the FARC.
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16People trust science, so why don't they believe in it?
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24Trump's love affair with Wikileaks is apparently quite over as the Justice Department prepares criminal charges against Julian Assange. (Autoplay video, but original source)
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12One police officer dead and two others seriously injured after a man opened fire in Paris before being killed.
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29Dow Chemical pressures US government to ignore results of studies showing pesticides are harmful to endangered and threatened species.
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21 Over in the UK, Theresa May realises she doesn't have the parliamentary leverage to deliver her corrosive plans so she asks the opposition parties to help her out. They say OK.
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62Fox News to drop Bill O'Reilly amid allegations of sexual harassment.
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-11In a great victory for multiculturalism and secularism, Jakarta has decided to keep their Chinese Christian governor. Wait no, the opposite of that. The new governor insists he is a "moderate" Muslim in spite of his disturbingly close relationship with various Islamists.
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28The old joke finally enters real life, as a Clairvoyant Evening is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances
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26In Zimbabwe, the goat is now legal tender for school fees.
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29Meanwhile in North Carolina: the same Representative that introduced a bill to "reverse" Obergefell last week said that "Lincoln was the same sort of tyrant as Hitler" (because apparently same-sex marriage is just as bad as the Holocaust).
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33In his lawsuit to get custody of his kids, Alex Jones' lawyer is claiming that he is playing a character and that he is a "performance artist", likening his entire media persona to Jack Nicholson's The Joker. (Original source. Also, he said Obama's kids aren't really his a few days before the hearing.)
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25U.N. peacekeepers ran a child sex ring in Haiti. (full report).
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29All hail the autocracy! Erdogan wins vote to expand his powers, may be able to stay El Presidente until 2029.
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39The European Court of Human Rights has struck down French regulations requiring mandatory sterilisation for transgender people. (Text of the judgement, in French)
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24North Carolina wants to ban same-sex marriage, because Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supremacy ClauseWikipedia's W.svg apparently do not exist.
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33A Detroit emergency room doctor has been charged with performing genital mutilation on young girls in what is believed to be the first criminal case of its kind brought by U.S. prosecutors.
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28The U.S. Air Force has dropped the largest non-nuclear weapon in their arsenal, the GBU-43/B, more often known as the "Massive Ordnance Air Blast" or "Mother of All Bombs" in Afghanistan, marking the first time it has been used in combat.
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12German soccer team Borussia-Dortmund's team bus was hit by an explosion, wounding only two people.
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54What the Hell is even going on anymore? White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, "You had someone who was despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons." When immediately called out by reporters in the room over holocaust denial, he fumbles the clarification, "Thank you, I appreciate that. There was not in the – he brought them into the Holocaust centers – I understand that. But I’m saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns." Also, note in the video he almost said "where he went into towns and dropped them to innocent", then managed corrected himself realizing how much worse he almost made it.
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36Schadenfreude: South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, who infamously yelled "you lie" at President Obama, now has those same words shouted at him by his constituents during a meeting about health care.
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32Chicago plans to become the first major US city to have all of its government buildings powered entirely by renewable energy by 2025.
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22Smoking causes one in ten deaths globally. According to the study, "The scale-up of tobacco control ... is a major public health success story. Nonetheless, smoking remains a leading risk for early death and disability worldwide".
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20Sir Tim Berners-Lee wins the 2016 ACM Turing Award for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale. (the press release indicates the formal event will take place on June 24, 2017)
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30Chechnya opens first gays only concentration camp.
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19Dylann Roof is sentenced to 9 life sentences by the state. He has been sentenced to death by a federal court already.
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26Millions of children in Yemen vaccinated against polio through UN-backed campaign while Australia considers bill to ban childcare centres for unvaccinated children.
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16The Basque separatist group ETA gave up its guns. "ETA has been defeated."
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13Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has announced a three-month state of emergency after attacks on two Coptic churches that left at least 44 dead. The attacks have been claimed by ISIS as part of a campaign against Egypt's Christian minority.
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29In a new study, Washington University researchers found that a previously reported connection (probably here) between the serotonin gene, depression and stress wasn't evident. Meanwhile, Australian scientists begin the world’s largest genetic study into depression. The results of this research will eventually help eliminate the guesswork involved in treatment.
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62 Trump tried unsuccessfully to get usernames and other details about his critics on Twitter.
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35Non-religious population of Ireland increases by nearly 3/4 in just 5 years
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20Suspected terror attack as a hijacked truck rams into people at a shopping centre in central Stockholm, Sweden. More details here and here.
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24In other news, U.S. unemployment has hit an all-time low, at 4.5%
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8An MIT graduate was arrested on charges of terrorism and possession of weapons of mass destruction. "He thought people were following him. He thought certain groups were following him."
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24Atheists and highly religious people are the least scared of death according to a study by researchers from the University of Oxford in the UK.
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24It's official. The U.S. has launched an assault on Syria.
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25War breaks out between the Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner (whom Bannon called a "cuck") factions in the White House.
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22Researchers have generated the first immortalised cell lines which allow more efficient manufacture of red blood cells.
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16Newly uncovered report details fallout from 1950s Soviet nuclear weapons test at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan.
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24Amy Robertson, recently hired as principal of a Pittsburg, Kansas high school, resigned after her credentials were questioned in the high school's newspaper. Robertson claimed dubious experience and degrees, including a masters and PhD degrees from "Corllins University," a known diploma mill.
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54Steve Bannon removed from National Security Council role.
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13Acupuncture becomes popular as battlefield pain treatment. "some people just don’t want to take medicines; they just want something else for a change." According to this blog the quackery that is "battlefield acupuncture" is almost always primarily auricular acupuncture. On the bright side, "It’s a little uncomfortable but it’s not like being shot".
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36Attempting to create a worldwide dystopian hellhole, the US withdraws from the UN population fund, the arm of the UN that provides family planning and sex ed to the poorest parts of the world.
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22Newly discovered cavefish displays superfast evolution.
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24South Africa's credit rating slips to junk, as mismanagement by the ANC and Zuma continues.
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34Muslim school in NYC disciplines teacher for pointing out Adam and Eve probably aren't real.
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27DAESH militants shoot dead the Imam of a mosque — in front of his parishioners — for refusing to approve a death sentence against people who refused to take part in terrorist operations against the security troops deployed there.
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16How did medieval villagers prevent the Zombie Apocalypse? They multilated the dead to stop them rising.
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30In keeping with growing xenophobia and hate crimes in the United States, a Baha'i refugee from Iran is being forced out of his home by a far-right Oregon mob who think he is an Islamist terrorist.
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24The makers of the horror film franchise The Conjuring are being sued for $900 million by a biographer of Ed and Lorraine Warren who claims that they ripped him off. The fun part: a key component of his lawsuit is that the Warrens are frauds, and that therefore, his book The Demonologist ought to be treated as a work of fiction (and therefore not subject to fair use like a historical event).
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24Text analysis reveals, 'Violence more common' in Bible than Quran. The Old Testament was found to be more than twice as violent as the Quran.
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12Super-hard Brexit: how UK planned to blow up the Channel Tunnel with a nuclear bomb
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15Flooding and landslides in Colombia have killed 254 people, injured hundreds and devastated entire neighborhoods.
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15Gilbert Baker, designer of rainbow flag, enduring symbol for gay rights, has died.
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18The Somali Federal Parliament approved of a new 27-Minister cabinet that includes six women, the largest number of female ministers ever to be named to a Federal Government cabinet. In addition, Somalia’s new prime minister, Hassan Ali-Khaire, vowed to tackle corruption.
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21More protests in London as Britain First and the English Defense League independently make anti-islam demonstrations veiled as anti-terrorism demonstrations. Several Antifascist protestors, who have become increasingly violent since the murder of Jo Cox, broke out of their own police-guided demonstration and attacked the far-right demonstrators and have been arrested. Turning to the lighter side, The Guardian notes that barely 10% of Biffers who showed interest in the event actually attended.
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-36Authors of the famous pee-pee memo may themselves be Russian agents.


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