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

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August 2015[edit]

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18 Statistical extrapolation suggests that every dead seabird found in 2050 will have plastic in its guts.
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26 Scholarly Scott Walker contemplates building the Great Wall of Walker along the Canadian border.
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43Obama officially renames Mt. McKinley to Denali. Alaska Republicans actually support him for once, while Ohio republicans and Fox News do the same old song and dance.
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15 Wes Craven dead at 76.
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13I am sure this will set a lovely precedent: A French court has legally recognized an applicant's electromagnetic hypersensitivity as a genuine medical disorder and cleared her for disability payments.
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34Chris Christie, realizing nobody is paying attention to him, decides to follow Trump and makes his own statement on immigration: "Track them like Fedex packages!"
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35"Hey Supreme Court, I know you just recently ruled that I must give out Gay Marriages, but could you maybe suddenly change your mind and let me not do that".
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11The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers have endorsed the anti-Israeli BDS movementWikipedia (no relation to BDSM).[dubious]
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26Smithsonian Mag - Some Brands Are Labeling Products “GMO-free” Even if They Don’t Have Genes [1]
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35Creationists' Utah pterosaur shot down.
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14 Some new progress in the science of aging, paving the way towards immortality. What could go wrong?
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34The University of Kansas has revealed that the Koch Brothers have been actively undermining renewable energy, lobbying for tax cuts while maintaining oil subsidies.
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17David Cameron is full of shit. Literally.
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8A 17-year old from Virginia is sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for operating a pro-ISIL Twitter account.
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33July 2015 was the hottest recorded month ever.
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17The desperately overwhelming importance to New York City of restricting the foul moral corruption invoked by the female nipple. (Seriously, de Blasio was going to tear out the pedestrian plazas to keep twelve uppity women from taking their tops off.)
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48Ashley Madison was always a big sad scam: 31 million men and at most a few thousand women, if that many. The scam: pay to "have an affair", get strung along for a while with fake profiles, realize the site is garbage, pay the "deletion fee" to leave, then they don't even do that.
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34Ebola (Remember that?): Sierra Leone has discharged its last Ebola patient, Adama Sankoh, and now begins the countdown to become epidemic-free.
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31NASA: Average sea levels have risen by around five centimeters since 1992. Meanwhile, France and Australia collaborate on a renewable energy plan. Update: Sea levels is rising faster than previously thought and could go up by at least one meter by the next century.
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23Parents sue a ritzy private school in Massachusetts for exposing their special snowflake to wi-fi signals in the classroom, asking for $250,000 in damage compensation.
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28Meanwhile, in America, TV news anchor Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward shot dead, while live on air. UPDATE: The gunman, Vester Flanagan, was pronounced dead from a self-inflicted gun wound. Social media posts and a long, rambling fax sent to ABC suggest he was motivated by race, exacerbated by strong anger issues/potential mental health issues.
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19District court to Alabama Legislative Black Caucus: Fine, these districts were indeed drawn horribly. You do better.
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22Scientists discover electrical control of cancer cell growth
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23A study confirms the link between gun ownership and mass shootings.
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17 Turkey stops playing chicken and joins the anti-ISIS coalition.
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16Paging Officer Jenny: Two men from Iowa were arrested in Boston for allegedly making threats on Facebook and bringing long guns and ammo to the Pokémon TCG World Championship.
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24Global warming is great! Greenland is becoming more like Greenland and less like Iceland.
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14Scott Walker, who insists his position has not changed since his calls to end birthright citizenship, doesn't want to change the Constitution to do so. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... Republican logic!
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12No, le Donald did not have 40000 people at his Mobile rally. Maybe 30000. Politico even calls it 20000 (and calls him a straight-up liar in re attendance figures for his Phoenix rally).
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24Trump goes full Southern Strategy. "He echoed Richard Nixon’s 1968 'silent majority' pitch that was aimed at attracting disaffected white Southerners."
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25Sad Puppies at the Hugo Awards: "Everyone hates us and our slate voting and told us to go away. But see, that means we WON. Really." Of course you did, dear.
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9The latest in surprising unintended consequences: Middle East conflict drastically improves air quality >.>
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9Another chemical warehouse explodes in China. This time it was in Zibo,Wikipedia ShandongWikipedia province.
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21A man in Kansas, who is 'pro-life', tries to blow up an abortion clinic. This is the same clinic George Tiller used to work at.
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10Members of Syriza split and form a new party, People's Front of Greece Popular Unity,Wikipedia ahead of the Greek elections.
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20 Ted Cruz has a very long conversation with a lesbian and fellow Canadian over LGBT discrimination.
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16Two men, who claimed to be inspired by Trump, assaulted and urinated on a homeless Latino man. Luckily, the police were calm enough to arrest them without doing harm, despite threats made against the officers.
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17 The two Koreas engage in a shouting match. Update: No one wants to back down. Update: They are back together again.
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5 What a surprise! The worst invasive species is also an unsustainable superpredator. Update: Boreal forests, which comprise some 30% of all forests, are being pushed towards the cliff by climate change. Guess who are responsible?
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18Correlation or causation? Stillbirths down 8% since smoking ban in UK.
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40 A patriotic volunteer guarding a "Muslim free" gun store in Oklahoma accidentally shot himself.
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10 The media ignores the anti-Balakas in CAR to the detriment of black Muslims in the country.
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30Slovakia: We will accept only Christian refugees because we lack mosques and thus Muslims cannot possibly integrate into society. Don't worry, it's not discriminatory, it's for the welfare of the refugees.
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22Another exciting year for the Totnes orange races!
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26Josh Duggar had a paid account at Ashley Madison. At least he admits he's "the biggest hypocrite ever".
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13IBM wires up 'neuromorphic' chips like a rodent's brain.
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22Can we go back to the times when a headline from The Onion could be reliably discerned from actual news?
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10 Jared Fogle of Subway fame pleads guilty to charges of possessing child pornography and traveling to engage in paid sex with minors.
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19 It seems that the free market is simply not the way towards an entirely renewable energy supply. And while we are at it, electricity generated from renewable energy carried to consumers by high-temperature superconducting cables is a reality within reach.
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2 A "drinkable book" has been brought before the American Chemical Society with the claim that its pages can filter 99% of bacteria from contaminated water. Whether this is real or woo remains to be seen.
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37 BP crews photographed the Flying Spaghetti Monster of the coast of Angola.
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30Massive explosions rock Tianjin, China and release sodium cyanide. A chemical plant in Texas has also exploded. The EPA has also caused a chemical spill in Colorado.
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20 You can now add spousal/POW rape onto the list of reasons to personally hate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thanks to the interrogation of former DAESH commander Abu SayyafWikipedia's wife and slave.
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-7 The last remaining undecided Republican senator decides to vote against the Iran deal.
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5The FBI will be investigating Hillary Clinton's emails.
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30An 11 year old in Paraguay has given birth because she was denied an abortion after her stepfather raped her.
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19A study finds that Florida city schools are still segregated. Update: Segregation in schools is much worse today than it was during Jim Crow.
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16New study places the blame for the Pleistocene megafauna extinction on the worst invasive species.
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3The Donald will be performing jury duty... this time.
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21The Koch brothers have chosen Scott Walker as their candidate for the 2016 Republican nomination.
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23The paleo diet woo pushers won't be happy with this one. For evolving brains, the actual paleolithic diet was full of carbs.
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30Remember Arkansas state legislator, Justin Harris? The one who adopted three girls, then passed two of them on (because the two were supposedly possessed by demons) to another family, where one of the girls was sexually abused? Yeah... the Family Council is giving him their "Power of Courage" award. Because sometimes, a story can get worse.
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26The DOJ says that it is unconstitutional to ban homeless people from sleeping outside.
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19 California will soon be hit by Godzilla an El-Nino pattern. But don't let those evil liberals fool ya, for global warming is a hoax, invented by the weak to control the strong.
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30With a 2 to 3 year lag time, local increases welfare support are strongly correlated with a reduction in homicide rate in that locality.
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19Black Lives Matter activists shut down Jeb Bush campaign event in Nevada.
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33Our best wishes to Jimmy Carter for a speedy recovery from cancer
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20Satanists are invading Texas! The fundies were right all along!
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46Alabama's legislature can't seem to grasp the idea of taxes, so one state senator has set up a GoFundMe campaign for the state. No, really. In five days, it's raised just a thousand dollars against a $300 million goal. It's almost like watching libertarian pipe dreams die slowly. Apparently the elephant in question seriously thinks he's making some grand point about how taxes are bad instead of how voluntary funding of public needs is inadequate.
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19 John Kasich plays the inverse of the standard RINO trope, trying to redefine conservatism into something more person-friendly. Given the present GOP's undeclared efforts to drive moderates anywhere away, he's not too likely to succeed, unfortunately.
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13 Tony Abbott does not want gay kangaroos to marry, at least not yet.
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20 Japan restarts one of its nuclear power plants shut down after Fukushima.
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19Always looking for breaking news, news outlets discover entropy and the universe's heat death remain things we've known about for a long time.
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21Rick Perry's campaign runs out of money and stops paying staffers, with latest polling at 2.5%.
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13William Shakespeare: dope smoker? Could be, could be, could be.....
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15"Darren Wilson Day." Really? REALLY?
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31The American Psychological Association votes to ban psychologists from assisting with torture at Guantanamo Bay and other "black sites".
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20The Taliban is reported to be experiencing a power struggle after their leadership finally confirmed that Mullah OmarWikipedia died two years ago. It still isn't clear where he died (either in Afghanistan or Pakistan depending on who you believe). Mullah Omar has been reported dead many times before and when the report of his death came out a week and a half ago there was skepticism regarding whether or not he actually was dead. The fact that the Taliban has confirmed his death means that those rumors can be put to rest; he is definitely dead.
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23Black Lives Matter protesters shut down/take over a Bernie Sanders (You know, the guy that actually marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the '60s) speech in Seattle. He has recently hired a civil rights activist as his national press secretary in response. Update Bernie Sanders' official reform list for racial justice.
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4The Scottish government plans to ban the growing of GMO on their soil, apparently to assert the nation's "clean, green status".
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5A major terrorist attack in Kabul has raised fears that the Taliban is fracturing during peace talks.
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11The UN will investigate the chlorine gas attacks in Syria.
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22Aurora theater shooter sentenced to life without parole.
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27East Texas judge gives man who got into a fight with his girlfriend's ex- two options: 1) go to jail for 15 days and risk losing his job, or 2) marry his girlfriend on the spot within a month. So much for the "sanctity of marriage".
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21North Korea: Now 60 years and 30 minutes behind the rest of the world.
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25Another secular Bangladeshi blogger hacked to death. The victim strongly supported minority rights and women's rights.
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26“If I’m the nominee, I will pledge I will not run as an independent.”
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27Reddit has banned several more subreddits. The most notable subreddit being r/coontown.
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26Liberty University has invited Bernie Sanders to speak at their college... and he is going.
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17Malaysia confirms the plane wing found on RéunionWikipedia is from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
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12Mormon church releases photos of ‘seer stone’ used by founder Joseph Smith
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7Camp Shelby, in Mississippi, is attacked for the second time.
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29A federal judge has ruled Idaho's law that prohibits the secret filming of animal abuse at agricultural facilities as unconstitutional.
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30Three men arrested in North Carolina for building bombs to stop the impending Jade Helm takeover. ALSO: Two Men Open Fire On Soldiers At Jade Helm Training Site In Mississippi. (No one injured... yet.)
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52Senate blocks bid to deny funds to Planned Parenthood.
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25 After delivering a lecture on climate change even though he is not a scientist, Emperor Obama, backed by his liberal minions, unveil the evil plan to cut greenhouse emissions by a third in 15 years. In response, protectors of free enterprise have already begun preparing their defenses.
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33 Emperor Obama and the greenies are about to launch an assault on business once again, despite a recent ruling by the Patrician, Unelected, Highly Non-representative Panel of Nine that companies may pollute if it helps them profit. But never fear. God's Own Party will have your back.
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38Putin's Russia is so corrupt that it uses corruption as an alternative to public policy.
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11German state prosecutor decides treason charges against the journalists who revealed NSA spying might not look so good.
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38The only way to stop an incompetent man with a gun is with an armadillo.
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32This is why we can't have nice things. After successful tours across Canada and Western Europe, hitchBOTWikipedia, an experiment on human kindness, lasted only two weeks in the United States before it was found dead with its electronics torn out.
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8George Washington University has abandoned standardized testing, such as the ACT and SAT, for admission.
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10After the death of Cecil the lion, there were worries that his cubs would be killed by his brother, Jericho. The good news is that it's now no longer a concern. The bad news is that the entire pride is now threatened, because Jericho is dead. UPDATE: The report of Jericho's death has been disputed by Oxford University researchers who have been tracking him by GPS, who say that GPS data shows Jericho moving normally four hours after his death was reported.
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16Mark Karpelès, of failed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, is arrested in Japan. (This was front-page news in Japan.)
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33Texas Governor Greg Abbott convinced to veto mental-health bill by Scientologists.