RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?

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[edit] May 2017

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15Dr. Farid Fata, a convicted cancer quack who administered unnecessary treatments to his victims, will spend forty years in prison.
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19A man goes on an "anti-Muslim and anti-everything" rant at two Middle Eastern-looking women on a commuter train in Portland, Oregon. When other passengers get up and confront him over it, he fatally stabs two of them.
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274th Ct. Court of Appeals pwns Trump's Muslim ban: "an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination." (text of the order)
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16"He had the massive boat designed by a veteran of amusement park attractions, commissioned an original soundtrack to enhance the experience, and stocked the interior with an animatronic (and freakishly real) talking Noah, along with lifelike models of Earth’s manifold creatures. Including dinosaurs...And he saw that it was good." The Washington Post profiles the Creation Museum, an amusement park in Kentucky built by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis.
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19An astroturfing bot is spamming the FCC website with anti-net neutrality comments using customer names and addresses. You can check if your name's been misused at comcastroturf.com - for now.
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25The Trump administration has been warned by the British Home Secretary to stop leaking details of their ongoing counter-terrorism investigations to reporters after the identity of the bomber was revealed before his house was searched.
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14Pope Francis and Trump exchange gifts during the president's visit to the Vatican. Trump gave His Holiness books by Martin Luther King Jr. while the Pope gave the president copies of his writings, including his encyclical on climate change.
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16Donald Trump praised Rodrigo "I am like Hitler" Duterte for his drug policy.
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15Trump signs Holocaust memorial guestbook the way only he can. (Warning: Autoplay video).
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24Trump's latest budget proposal: "dead on arrival on Capitol Hill."
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23Emergency services on alert in Manchester after an explosion is reported at an Ariana Grande concert. Update: 22 fatalities reported.
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23Facebook's bizarre rulebook on dealing with violence, sex, etc. Making threats towards Trump, for example, is not acceptable, but insinuating violence against anyone else is totally okay.
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24The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has begun dismantling Obama-era regulation on Internet service providers, better known as Net Neutrality.
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39After the hottest year ever, The Global Seed Vault, designed to preserve crop varieties for future generations, is flooded by melting permafrost.
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33Fired FBI Director James Comey agrees to testify before a Senate intel committee.
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8Sweden temporarily suspends rape investigation surrounding Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
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35Lawsuit: The male athletes at America's largest Baptist university (Baylor University) used gang rape as a "bonding experience".
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22Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is expected to announce today Thursday that he is resigning before the end of this congressional term.
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-8A car has sped into pedestrians in Times Square, injuring at least twenty-two people and killing one person. The suspected driver is in police custody.
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28New anti-scientific education legislation finds success in various US states, encouraging the teaching of controversies. Naturally, evolution and climate change are the victims.
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40Roger Ailes, founding CEO of Fox News, dead at 77.
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6Four people have been arrested in East London in another MI5-corrdinated anti-terror raid.
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49Chelsea Manning has been released from prison.
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24NATO is scrambling to tailor its upcoming meeting to avoid taxing President Donald Trump’s notoriously short attention span. (Not the Onion).
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44Trump Revealed Highly Classified Intelligence to Russia, via New York Times.
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21The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal in a case which struck down discriminatory voting laws in North Carolina, via Vox.
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13GOP overturns 14 Obama-era rules.
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6 Is Mexico really the second deadliest country? Contradictory evidence abounds.
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35Andrew Snelling of Answers in Genesis is suing the National Park Service for refusing to give him a Grand Canyon research permit.
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33The US Senate blocked the repeal of an Obama-era environmental protection rule restricting the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In related news, here is a (possibly incomplete) list of environmental protection rules the Trump administration has attempted to overturn so far.
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28Because when half of the country is making Watergate comparisons, who better to invite to the White House than... Henry Kissinger?
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45White house press secretary Sean Spicer literally hid in the bushes to avoid answering questions about James Comey's firing.
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60Recently-elected French president Emanuel Macron wants to fight global warming and is inviting U.S. experts to France to help.
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68In a totally above-board move that in no way looks like Watergate, Nixon Trump fires Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox FBI Director James Comey.
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26Belgium's Walloon parliament has banned the killing of unstunned animals, harming the production of traditional Kosher and Halal meat in the country - those that do stun should be fine.
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63After the House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump admitted to the Prime Minister of Australia that Australians have better healthcare. Ironically, Australia's universal healthcare system is called Medicare.
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25Texas adoption agencies could ban couples that are Jewish, Muslim, gay, interfaith, and/or single from adopting based on religious grounds.
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29The religious right are the latest constituency that Donald Trump abandoned his promises towards, as his "religious freedom" executive order turns out to be more smoke and mirrors.
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27Gardaí (Irish Police) launch blasphemy probe into Stephen Fry comments on 'The Meaning of Life'
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26Tennessee Senator Mark E. Green, Trump’s second nominee to be secretary of the Army, pulls out of the nomination after being lambasted for criticizing federal attempts to bar discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender people in workplaces and businesses.
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46Trump tries to air "fake news" 2020 campaign ad; is rejected by all major TV networks.
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36Donald Trump freezes funding for groups fighting white supremacism.
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39The US House successfully votes to repeal Obamacare. It could only get enough votes once they found a way to strip protections for those with pre-existing conditions and exponentially raise their costs in addition to ensuring that 24 million people will lose their insurance. The bill still has to pass the Senate, where it is likely to face massive changes in order to even have a chance. Actually, the Senate won't vote on House Trumpcare bill, will instead draft a whole new bill (Warning Autoplay Video).
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37In a stroke of irony, alt-righters call for Stephen Colbert to be taken off the air after allegedly homophobic comments involving Donald Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin. Who's a special snowflake now?
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20Despite claiming it to be a racist organization run by Nazis, Ottoman Sultan Recip I continues to demand entry into the European Union despite no attempt to conform with its entry requirements or else he is leaving and never coming back.
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15DAESH claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in Kabul which killed eight civilians and wounded three American soldiers.
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17With inter-religious tensions increasing in Uttar Pradesh, four members of a Hindu nationalist group are arrested for the murder of a Muslim farmer over an interfaith marriage.
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21Brexit 'divorce bill' could go up to €100bn after fresh demands from EU member states.
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12Puerto Rico officially files for a bankruptcy-like proceeding to restructure its massive debt load after talks with its creditors failed.
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18California Lawmakers Want Third-Gender Option on IDs. NBC News Fox News InfoWars (can you believe InfoWars isn't transphobic here?)
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28Founder of Reddit's RedPill forum outed as a New Hampshire state senator Bobby Fisher.
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30The Supreme Court rejects an attempt to overturn the gay conversion therapy ban in California.
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31Congress rejects Trump's call for $1.2 billion cut for the NIH in the 2017 fiscal year and approves $2 billion funding boost for the next five months.

[edit] April 2017

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-1Rumors circulate that Anthony Kennedy may be considering retiring from the US Supreme Court. If he does retire, Trump/Pence-led conservatives will certainly have the 5-seat majority on the Court needed to roll back decades of progress. If any others retire or pass away, we're looking at a conservative majority for potentially decades.
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25China bans Muslim names for babies in Western China.
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8Milo Yiannopoulos's back! With what he says is a $12 million stake from secret investors, the former Breitbart tech editor is launching Milo Inc., a live-event touring company, dedicated to making progressives’(read: journalists, professors, politicians, feminists, Black Lives Matter activists, and other "professional victims") lives a “living hell.”
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21Donald Trump signs an executive order eliminating restrictions against oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic put in place by the Obama administration.
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28The Environmental Protection Agency removes all of its websites that contain information about climate change data and research.
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19If we are to rely more and more on renewable energy, such as sunlight, we may have to extract certain minerals from the ocean floor. (Video link) Update: Even if there is a drastic reduction in carbon emission into the atmosphere, dramatic effects of global warming will likely be seen in the upcoming decades, as the Arctic is warming at a rate twice that of the rest of the planet.
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41Donald Trump finds out that running a country is not the same thing as running a corporation.
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23Democrats are proposing a bill to raise the US federal minimum wage to $15 per hour in stages.
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14Over the past week over a dozen DAESH militants have been arrested and another thirty killed by Lebanese forces on the Syrian border.
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26Supreme conspiracy theorist, champion of the far-right, and Internet meme Alex Jones loses custody over his children.
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29Finally, something we agree with Trump on. Even he misses life before he became President.
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26A German soldier has been arrested under suspicion of registering as a refugee and linking this identity to terrorism in order to promote anti-refugee sentiment ahead of the election.
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37Trump sets up 'criminal alien' hotline, people use it to report UFOs.
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13A Russian spy ship has sunk off the coast of Turkey after colliding with a freighter in the fog.
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13A terror suspect carrying knives has been arrested near the Houses of Parliament in a planned police operation, having been under surveillance for some time. A further four people have been arrested, and another suspect shot by police.
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17The rudiments of Trump's tax plan have been released, and they're a disaster of flat taxes and tax cuts.
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22A Republican representative from New Hampshire is outed as the creator of Reddit's r/redpill. Democrats call for his resignation and Republicans denounce him, but he still pledges to "stand strong for Men's Rights."
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22The Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, found that Earth's atmosphere now contains more carbon dioxide than in all of human history. This means bad news even if the Paris Climate Agreement is working, which it is not.
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22A federal judge has blocked a Trump order on sanctuary cities that would withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.
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31Ivanka Trump booed after calling her father a champion for women. No really.
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47Yogurt company Chobani sues conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for allegedly posting false information about the company.
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38Trump complains about "fake" polls giving him very low approval ratings.
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38Nationalists 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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16For 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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14Former 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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21People trust science, so why don't they believe in it?
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25Trump'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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13One police officer dead and two others seriously injured after a man opened fire in Paris before being killed.
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32Dow Chemical pressures US government to ignore results of studies showing pesticides are harmful to endangered and threatened species.
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24 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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67Fox News to drop Bill O'Reilly amid allegations of sexual harassment.
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-13In 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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35The old joke finally enters real life, as a Clairvoyant Evening is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances
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29In Zimbabwe, the goat is now legal tender for school fees.
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33Meanwhile 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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37In 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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27U.N. peacekeepers ran a child sex ring in Haiti. (full report).
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30All hail the autocracy! Erdogan wins vote to expand his powers, may be able to stay El Presidente until 2029.
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44The 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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26North 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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34A 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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56What 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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37Schadenfreude: 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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33Chicago 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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24Smoking 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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32Chechnya 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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27Millions 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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19The Basque separatist group ETA gave up its guns. "ETA has been defeated."
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14Egypt'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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30In 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's CBP tried unsuccessfully to get usernames and other details about a fake USCIS Twitter account which criticised him.
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37Non-religious population of Ireland increases by nearly 3/4 in just 5 years
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21Suspected 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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26War 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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55Steve 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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23Newly 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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28DAESH 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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25Text 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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13Super-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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23More 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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-38Authors of the famous pee-pee memo may themselves be Russian agents.


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