RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/April 2020

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April 2020[edit]

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32United States While multiple states threaten to take away unemployment benefits to workers that refuse to return to their job after ending of restrictions, American oligarchs have become even more wealthy since the beginning of the pandemic
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19the World Groundbreaking new method has allowed scientists to reverse blindness in mice
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19United StatesTara Reade's former neighbor confirms Tara's account of what happened to her at the hands of Joe Biden
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33GermanyA new bill has been put forward in the German Parliament that will give employees the right to work from home if requested.
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27BrazilAdding to Jair Bolsonaro's troubles, his son CarlosWikipedia is being investigated for his alleged role in a "fake news criminal scheme." This may be the reason why President Bolsonaro fired the Federal Police chief, which sparked the conflict between him and Moro that ultimately led to the latter's resignation.
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36United StatesDonald Trump cancels his daily coronavirus press briefing because of fears that his blatant lies could hurt his re-election chances.
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32BrazilAnti-corruption judge and long-time Bolsonaro ally Sergio MoroWikipedia has resigned from his post as justice minister and accused Bolsonaro of political meddling (English version), dealing a massive blow to the president.
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32North KoreaRumours have been circulating for days about the health of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un. It is unclear what his condition is in. Some unconfirmed (and disputed) reports have suggested that he is in a vegetative state following botched surgery. What we do know is China have sent doctors to check on him Update North Korean state media claim that Kim Jong Un has appeared in public at a ribbon cutting ceremony. These reports are, however, unconfirmed as no pictures of the event have been released.
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18United StatesAlaska. The school board in Palin’s old neighbourhood of Mat-Su borough has removed five books including Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, and The Great Gatsby from high school reading lists.
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16BelgiumThe Belgian potato board Belgapom is asking people try and eat French fries a least twice a week, which is twice the average home consumption. The reason is to prevent the country's huge surplus of 750 000 tonnes of bintjes potatoes from being destroyed.
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19IranUnited States Iran launches military satellite and promises a "decisive response" to Trump's threats
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20Poland Polish parliament debates two bills, one to ban abortion and another to ban sex ed by labeling teachers as gay activists and pedophiles
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25the World According to scientists, the oceans can be restored to former glory in just 30 years
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23United States Senator Kelly Loefller calls criticism of her insider trading a "socialist attack"
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14China Investors have piled on China's $13 trillion bond market with foreign ownership of bonds reaching record highs (FT Paywall) Non-paywall South China Morning Post article along same lines
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15European UnionOldest human proteome discovered from 800ky old archaic human tooth
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22Ukraine Authorities in Ukraine have found their own Walter White, after the local intelligence agency the SBU has found a Kyivan university professor making amphetamines in makeshift lab in the country.
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30the World It's official. According to the IMF, the current economic crisis, nicknamed the Great Lockdown, is the worst since the Great Depression
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22PalestineIsrael Palestinians decry Israel's consensus over annexation of West Bank.
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25United StatesMichigan. Michigan ex-governor Rick Snyder knew about Flint's toxic water and lied about it.
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31North KoreaKim Jong-Un is allegedly gravely ill, following surgery. His sister, Kim Yo-Jong would become North Korea's first female God-Empress, should Jong-Un die.
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17United States US faces a hunger crisis, with soaring demand for food banks and long lines causing some food banks to worry they might need to ration
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14United States After backlash from taking a stimulus check from military families, USAA bank changes its polices and returns emergency payments
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27United StatesUS oil prices crash into negative territory (i.e. producers would pay you to take it away), for the first time ever, as reduced global demand results in storage space running out.
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27South Korea President Moon Jae-in's victorious Democratic Party will seek to implement a Korean version of the Green New Deal which will seek to reach net zero emissions by 2050
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21Canada Flag of Nova Scotia.svg This year just continues to be shit: Canada suffers deadliest mass shooting since 1989 Ècole Polytechnique massacreWikipedia. At least 13 dead in Portapique, Nova Scotia. RCMP reports the shooter is also dead. Update: 16 dead. Worst mass shooting in Canadian history. Update 2: Death toll now at 22.
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18ItalyEgyptEgypt will soon be home to Africa's first vertical forest as urban planners design three buildings covered with pollution-absorbing plants for the country's New Administrative Capital
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27United StatesIn another blatant cash grab for the rich, Congress has given 43k US millionaires stimulus average 1.6 million dollars each
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22United States Approximately 22 million Americans have applied to unemployment benefits, bringing the official unemployment rate to 13.5% of the labor force with economists predicting that a lot of the lost jobs will not come back
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19United StatesRussiaEdward Snowden is forced to reapply for residency in Russia.
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30United States Treasury Department gives banks authorization to seize the stimulus checks to pay off outstanding debts
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24United StatesWashington. Washington’s Attorney General is suing Facebook for "repeatedly" violating the state’s campaign finance law, despite requests to stop from an earlier lawsuit.
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27United StatesWashington. Oregon. California. Washington, Oregon and California announce Western States Pact on a shared vision for reopening their economies in a controlled fashion.
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30United StatesIn an absolute shitshow of a press briefing, Trump first plays a misleading propaganda video, then claims as President, he has "total authority" to reopen the country.
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35UkraineEverybody (staring at Krakatoa) "April can't get worse, right?" Still April: Wildfires edge closer to Chernobyl, releasing radiation.
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24United Kingdom One of the reports of the investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party has revealed that BlairitesWikipedia might have cynically used antisemitism charges against left-wing activists and push for institutional opposition to former leader Jeremy Corbyn, including red-baiting and casual misogyny, and that the report will not be sent to the Human Rights Comission
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24United States Oil companies are collapsing but wind and solar are growing as renewable energy sources are set to account for nearly 21% of electricity generation in the United States, an increase in 18 points from the previous year (warning:paywall bitching from NYT)
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37United StatesVirginia. Virginia governor Ralph NorthamWikipedia signs law extending LGBT non-discrimination protections on public employment, housing and credit
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30Spain Spanish government plans to roll out a universal basic income soon and for it to become permanent
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39IndonesiaEverybody: "April will be better, right?" April: Krakatoa erupts.
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9United KingdomThe company that owns The Jewish ChronicleWikipedia the UK’s only national Jewish newspaper, has said that the newspaper is to close and its staff laid off.
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9European UnionNetherlandsPortugal European Parliament president is sidelined in teleconference between the finance ministers of member states that fell apart due to the Netherland's minister demands for strict conditions on soft loans. However the Portuguese former minister of finances believes that a European Marshall Plan could be in reach
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24United StatesStephanie Grisham, the White House Press Secretary who never held a single press briefing, is out, presumably to go back to day drinking. Trump cheerleader, Kayleigh McEnany, takes over.
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3AustraliaThe High Court of AustraliaWikipedia has quashed the conviction of Australian cardinal George PellWikipedia, on five charges of child sexual abuse, and ordered his immediate release (He was released a few hours later). The reason given by the court was (in short): jurors failed to adequately consider reasonable doubts raised by the defense. Pope Francis made some very pointed “persecution that Jesus suffered” remarks, that while not referencing Pell by name, seem unlikely to be a coincidence.
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35United StatesFurther undermining the credibility of the US military, the captain of the USS Franklin D Roosevelt is fired for raising concerns about an outbreak of coronavirus among the crew, something he later tests positive for himself. Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas B. Modly, then addresses the crew of the vessel, calling the captain "too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer." Following the leaking of his remarks, the Trump toady apologises. UPDATE: Modly's resigned.
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39United StatesTexas. William Neil “Doc” Gallagher, a Christian radio personality from Texas, is sentenced to 25 years in prison after ripping off his elderly listeners for more than US$25 million in a Ponzi scheme
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30Canada Justin Trudeau is facing backlash from critics and labor groups after choosing Amazon to distribute medical supplies in Canada
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16TurkeyBad news for lovers of the hazelnut-chocolate spread Nutella as a parasite called stinkbug, is affecting the supplies of hazelnuts in Turkey home of 70% of world’s supply of hazelnuts.
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21Antarcticathe World Research suggests that Antartica was once a swampy rainforest, which would imply that the greenhouse gases levels were much higher in the Cretaceous Period than scientists estimated and that the continent did not have glaciers
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25Germany Germany exceeds 50% renewable energy milestone while other countries seek to exploit sea energy
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19United Kingdom NHS has £13 billion and a half debt written off to help combat the pandemic and that NHS workers will get fully tested by the end of the month
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15United States The FDA has relaxed the rules for LGBT+ persons on donating blood citing current urgent needs. It would allow gay men to give after three months abstinence rather the current twelve months.
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17United StatesThe FAA has said that owners of Boeing 787 aircraft must reboot their aircraft every 51 days otherwise, there could be serious problems with the plane’s avionics including possibly "several potentially catastrophic failure scenarios"
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21United States In a welcome stopped clock moment, Trump's treasury announces that people who had not filed tax returns in 2019 are now eligible for support payments.
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-12United StatesIranIraq President Trump threatens Iran if they attack troops in Iraq after the IRGC Quds force enter Iraq to aid proxy groups
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34United StatesDelaware. Whiting Petroleum Corporation, once the largest shale oil company, declares bankrupcy