RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/April 2015

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April 2015[edit]

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12The O hath spoken: Harpo Productions will be changing Dr. Oz's widely broadcast radio segment to Internet-only, replacing it with "A Better Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta."
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56Bernie Sanders is officially running
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22The Republicans want to end the birthright citizenship.
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27Texas governor Greg Abbott to deploy the Texas State Guard to supervise the US Army's Jade Helm exercises so Texans know "their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed". Political posturing or is Alex Jones an adviser to Abbott?
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28A Republican politician. A vote against gay rights. Grindr. Put it together yourself.
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38Ahead of the UK General Election next week, the Torygraph publishes a list of "5,000 small business owners" signing a letter of support for the Conservative Party. A little analysis reveals it to be a crock of shit, directly elicited by Tory canvassers/spammers and padded with duplicate and fraudulent entries, liquidated businesses, charities, menial staff and party stooges.
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29After being told that 28% of UKIP supporters in a survey are racially prejudiced, Nigel Farage shifts the discussion to how the real racists are the Scots.
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20In an attempt to "cherish our Judeo-Christian heritage", the UKIP manifesto outlines its need to protect homophobes concerned traditional Christians Jews and Muslims from anti-discrimination laws biased views so they can make their beliefs known in the workplace.
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18The Northern Irish Assembly rejects same-sex marriages at 49-47 votes against, with only 4 of the 53 unionists voting in favour. Along with this, a senior member of the DUP has received complaints from lesbian couples he canvassed.
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18The Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore are taking a turn for the worse. Amidst a Baltimore City Fire Dep't hose being slashed by protesters, and journalists being attacked by both rioters and police, the Governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency, and a city-wide curfew is now in effect.
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23"Researchers have found evidence of attempts by the tobacco industry to reinterpret Islamic teaching to make smoking acceptable to Muslims and to help develop markets in countries with large Muslim populations." Reinterpreting scripture, just as the profit prophet wanted!
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16Another day, another bullet flying in an American school. No deaths thanks to staff.
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21Posters stating "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" to appear on NYC subways and buses, sponsored by a pro-Israel organization.
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26Catholic Church fights bill that would allow victims of child sex abuse to file a lawsuit past the standard statute of limitations.
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31Evidence Louisiana teachers and school board members conspired to teach creationism.
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9Northern Cyprus elects mid-leftist Akinci for president. He wants to pick up talks for reunification which had been put on hold in October because of a row about gas deposits.
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17Starting on Tuesday, the University of Queensland will be offering a free online course on demolishing climate change denialists with your bare hands.
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34The Comcast and Time Warner merger has died.
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23The Senate passes a bill on human trafficking, but the Republicans have attached an anti-abortion bill to it.
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12Racism kills a lot of people.
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32In the name of political correctness, school principal and photographer erase the word feminist from an eighth-grader's shirt.
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21The University of Alabama elects its first black SGA president in 39 years. The SGA Senate refuses to confirm any of his appointments, preventing the consideration of any other business. Sound familiar?
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18Relevant to this site: Amazon.com will help you rent goats.
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18The USA is not the only western country where "white" police like to visit violence on "black" youth..
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24Turns out non-violent garden-variety loons can be found among Western Muslims too - Islamic school principal in Australia bans girls from running sports in case they lose their virginity! (Also thinks ISIS is a plot by Western countries.)
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19More on the FDA's homeopathy inquiry.
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25US uninsured rate drops to 11.9%. Thanks, Obama.
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33"None of it's true," says wellness blogger who claimed to have beaten cancer by changing her diet.
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39"Being an atheist isn't bad for your mental health, new study says"
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16"1.5 Million Missing Black Men"
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71In a massive study involving 95,000 children, researchers have confirmed that there is no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, even in high-risk populations. Focus is now shifting on studying the effectiveness of the drinking of water as a preventative measure against dehydration, and whether or not the habitual inhalation of oxygen is an effective deterrent against death.
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22Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said to be in a critical condition following an airstrike.
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21The FBI admits to using flawed hair analysis for decades. Meanwhile, Americans who support the death penalty are unconcerned if innocent people are killed.
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13Is America beginning to accept atheists? ( Probably not, but hey.)
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23And here we go again. Man somehow has spine severed by police while being arrested "without force or incident".
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5John West and Kim Frederick, two Hillary Clinton backers, come up with a list of words they claim constitute "coded sexism". "Sexist words, they say, include 'polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over confident...'". What happens next is no less brilliant for being predictable.
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27Mehmet Oz gets some love from his fellow physicians. He's also been shilling for Sony.
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37FDA announces public hearing on regulation of homeopathy, Center for Inquiry invited to testify.
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18Kentucky judge rules against gay marriage ban, stays his order until SCOTUS ruling.
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16Sounds like science fiction: Using a laser designed for particle accelerators to deorbit space debris from the ISS
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52Chimpanzees in Fongoli, Senegal, have invented spears.
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14U.S. House, Senate pass HR2. HR2 (among other things) continues federal funding for "personal responsibility" sexual education at $75 mil/year and increases funding for abstinence-out-of-marriage education from $50 mil/year to $75 mil/year.
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12New Star Wars trailer
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20SpaceX "lands" their Falcon 9... and it promptly falls over sideways.
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41In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada rules that prayers at city council meetings are a violation of freedom of religion. (Link to judgment)
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25Iran appoints first female ambassador since the Islamic revolution. (This article also serves as a good overview of women's status in Iran today.)
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25‘You’re just a 10-foot-tall crybaby’. John Stossel defends secularism on Fox News.
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15European Commission to announce antitrust charges against Google
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12Barack Obama plans to remove Cuba from “state sponsors of terrorism” list.
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21Parents flee to Mexico after starving and trying to resurrect their "demon-possessed" baby.
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39Florida Governor Scott takes his anti-science purge to the next level with mental screening and all for Floridan officials who utter "climate change" or "global warming".
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2Barack Obama proposes mandatory voting as a solution to low voter turnout. There are doubts it would change anything.
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2Marco Rubio: Now running for US President.
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21Whoa. The universe might not be expanding as fast as we thought. Meaning there might not be as much dark energy as previously thought.
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32Nigel Farage has been called to the field of honor.
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43To the immense surprise of absolutely nobody, Hillary Clinton is running for president.
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63Anti-vax mother changes her mind after all 7 of her children get whooping cough. And is quite brave to be public about it IMO.
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9Slate: The War to Preserve Slavery ended later than we think
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30Tony Abbott's government goes into stopped clock mode and stops childcare payments for anti-vaccinators.
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32Pope Francis calls Armenian WW1 killings 'genocide'. Now just wait for Turkey's officialdom to to go haywire.
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36Rand Paul throws hissy fit when questioned by a journalist, for the third time in a week.
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49According to a new poll, most Americans do not support ‘religious freedom’ laws.
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-25This just in: Former 49ers coach wants to watch neocon Oscar bait after a screening of it was canceled due to protestors. Naturally, the comments sections is full of pure uncut anti-intellectualism.
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27Terrible human being Todd Kincannon, who once hoped that Ray Rice's girlfriend "learned her lesson when he beat her," arrested for domestic violence.
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30And not to be outdone, Christian doctors in Ontario are fighting for the right to refuse treatment, on religious grounds.
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24Another entrant in the race to be "the worst kind of human on the planet:" A 2013 bill in Tennessee would allow Christian counselors to reject suicidal LGBT students.
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50Barack Obama calls for end to 'conversion therapies' for LGBT youth
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10Iran calls out 5 nuclear powers on their utter failure to eliminate stockpiles; Russia and China hop on the bandwagon to amp up pressure for Western nations to disarm.
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28CH3CN found in baby star system, with potential implications for likelihood of life forming elsewhere.
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18Human ignorance can be lethal... for baby tortoises.
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24Black man pulled over by cops in 'Merica. You just know it didn't end well.
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17Transitional life ....and it's not even a fossil (yet).
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22Rand Paul: now running for president.
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12The brontosaurus may be coming back.
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29A GOP congressman who sponsored H.R.718 (aka, the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act of 2013) has an unmarried 17-year-old daughter. Can you guess the next part of this story?
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25Last Week Tonight interviews Edward Snowden, and has him explain NSA surveillance via the only metaphor many Americans will actually understand: your naked pics. (Writeup.)
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23God Allah joins anti-ISIS coalition.
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23Putin and Le Pen sitting in a tree...
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34Indiana convicts a woman for the murder of her own fetus. 38 states have fetal murder laws. Prosecuters use a discredited technique to convict her of murder. The technique is from the seventeenth century and has been used in other cases with serious risk of miscarriage of justice.
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36Anthony Ray Hinton is yet another African American victim of miscarriage of justice. Hinton was released after almost 30 years enduring the harsh conditions on Alabama's death row. Experts maintained for 12 years the guns Hinton was accused of using did not match evidence in the murder cases but authorities chose to ignore this.
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28The white skin of Europeans is a recent evolutionary innovation that was rare until around 6,000 years ago. It has absolutely nothing to do with other things that are being referenced to as "6000 years ago"
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16Al-Shabaab militants kill 147 students at a Kenyan university.
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31A historic agreement is in the works with Iran including getting them to agree to step back their nuclear development plans in exchange for lifting lots of sanctions.
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23A Canadian Conservative MP quits the party to sit as an independent in order to speak freely about his creationist beliefs
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19Qatari sports club accused of coercing migrant workers into running a half-marathon in jeans and flip-flops in an attempt to beat a world record. No, this isn't an April Fools story.
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16Paper about plagiarism detection redacted for... plagiarism.
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6Want a tricorder? Using rapid filter changes on a smartphone camera to do spectral analysis, and identify composition of substances at a distance.