RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/August 2016

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August 2016[edit]

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22A woman charged with child abuse is using Indiana's Religious Freedom law as a legal defense.
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17A Ukrainian pogrom against the Roma have forced dozens to flee.
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13Albquerque police continue to ignore New Mexico's law against civil asset forfeiture.
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16A Black teen was run down by a white supremacist after a violent confrontation in Gresham, Oregon.
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15Israel has approved the construction of 464 settlement homes in West Bank and is queitly legalizing pirate outposts.
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11Meet the worst cocaine smugglers of all time.
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27Insulin is the latest drug to become unaccesible to the poor. (Autoplay video)
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29Ohio's aborting restrictions made women less safe.
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17Where the death penalty is still heavily used in the US.
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25DAESH second-in-command, head of propaganda, and leader of oversees terrorist operations, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani has been confirmed dead in a Coalition bombing in the Aleppo governorate.
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40A protestor tried to film police roughing up another protestor at a 'Black Lives Matter' rally. Police took his recording phone. When he called at a police station to get it back, they locked him up for 15 hours. He is due in court on October 21st 2016. James Croft needs donations to cover legal costs and clear his name.
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32Oklahoma police tased an unarmed Black man and pepper sprayed his inocent 84-year-old grandma, possibly endangering her life. All that was because the man ran a stop sign.
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38One of the biggest crime waves in the US is being committed by employers.
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27NASA says that the Earth is warming at a pace unprecedented in 1,000 years.
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22The Obama Administration has reached its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees. And no, refugees are unlikely to commit more crime.
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10The DEA will classify Kratom as a Schedule 1 drug.
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16SETI has observed a strong signal that may originate from a Sun-like star but probably isn't space aliens. The signal could just contain useful information that we can't decode.
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17Protests have begun in Kargoorlie, Western Australia after a white man killed an Aborigine teen for allegedly stealing a bike.
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28Teen births in the US is plummeting, and the reason will shock you! Not really, it's just access to contraceptives.
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34Mother believes daughter is possessed, forces crucifix down daughter's throat and kills her.
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28The European Commission rules that Apple's tax benefits in Ireland are illegal and orders Apple to pay Ireland $14.5 billion plus interests. Both the corporation and the country have promised to appeal the decision.
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32A Catholic hospital refused to remove an IUD from a bleeding woman.
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22The evidence of fracking’s health effects keeps mounting.
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24FBI-owned Megaupload.org serves up porn and sex ads.
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12European copyright leak exposes plans to force the Internet to subsidize publishers.
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33The unabashedly racist White Lives Matter will be listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (Autoplay video)
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24It ain't just Stalin being sanitised. Dictatorship denial is on the rise in Argentina
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26 The TTIP has likely died.
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25Deadly heat in US prisons is killing inmates because prisons refuse to take actions to mitigate the dangerous temperature.
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40University of Chicago tells freshmen it does not support trigger warnings.
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28Almost a year after Texas passes a 'Campus Carry' law which allows concealed carry of firearms in public colleges, UT students stage a protest - by publicly carrying sex toys around on the first day of the new semester.
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21Police in Zimbabwe have begun to crack down on protestors by hitting them with batons, tear gas, and water cannons. (Autoplay video)
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13Stingray documents offer rare insight into police and FBI surveillance.
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16The IDF might be conducting a kneecapping campaign in the West Bank. The military clears itself of wrongdoing over 2014 Gaza air strikes.
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26Just 90 companies are responsible for most of the Earth's carbon emissions.
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27A judge gives a high school athlete probation for two rape charges while a Wisconsin wrestling coach says he was fired for reporting sexual assault allegations to the police.
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10The ADL took US cops to Israeli prison, occupied Hebron, and settler winery during counter-terror seminar.
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12A study by the London Business School finds that lawmakers overseeing Wall Street are given bigger, more favorable loans than others on similarly powerful committees.
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21Black and Hispanic people are enemies of the state, at least if that state is Maine.
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13Like abstinence, robot babies are not an effective form of birth control
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17Paul LePage leaves vulgar and homophobic voicemail.
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19In the Philippines, a peace deal ends a 48-year Communist insurgency.
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11Five men from Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent in the UK's Black Country have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to commit acts of terror. An Army bomb disposal unit has been ordered into the region to search properties.
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15Extended sessions of posting on the internet makes you worse at posting on the internet. At least on reddit.
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18The US military has confirmed that Abu Al-Baghdadi was held at Abu Ghraib.
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12German police dismisses that neo-Nazis were responsible for the murders of several Turkish immigrants, despite suggestions of a link.
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20Median income is down, but public college tuition is way up.
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38A black homeowner called 911 to report a carjacking; he is then mistaken as the suspect and shot in the stomach.
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24America’s bail system punishes poor people even if they're innocent of any crime.
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21Officials are cracking down on Native American protestors in North Dakota.
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15Secret cameras record Baltimore's every move from above.
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15Because being a woman on the Internet is a crime, actress Leslie Jones has her personal website compromised and filled with explicit and racist content and personal information. (The website has since been taken offline.)
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14Turkish military, with U.S. air support, makes incursion into Syria to aid anti-Daesh rebels.
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-3Jeremy Corbyn sat on the floor of a Virgin Train claiming public ownership could fix the underlying problem now there is debate on whether the train actually was "ram-packed" as Corbyn claims or it was all a PR stunt as Virgin claims
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20Three British Muslims were marched off their Easyjet flights because their text messages were believed to be "ISIS materials".
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32Earth-sized planet discovered orbiting closest star to the Sun.
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136.2-magnitude earthquake strikes central Italy. Over 100 confirmed dead, many villages devastated.
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-14Worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion, US court rules
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13If stoned rats get enough reward to get by while jumping through fewer hoops, we ought to applaud their wisdom and model our own lives after their wholesome pattern.
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29Andrea Tantaros has now filed a lawsuit against Fox News, implicating not only Roger Ailes but also Bill O'Reilly and former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who is a frequent Fox contributor.
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25Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency because of cost cutting measures by private facilities.
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13A proposed California bill could criminalize media reporting of undercover videos.
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16Forensics shows that Turkish investigative journalist Barış Pehlivan was framed for terrorism.
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3More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state were donors to the Clinton Foundation. New emails also show that consultants also raised cash for Hillary while she was the Secretary of State. Clinton also approved weapon sales to Bahrain as they were violently surpressed protests after they gave $32 million dollars to her family Foundation. Update: A roundup of investigations on the Clinton Foundation. (Autoplay video)
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10Sheldon Adelson is funding a group run by Horowitz in order to smear pro-Palestinians activists.
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13The NLRB rules that graduate students are employees and can therefore unionize.
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10Syria has given up control of Hasakah to the Kurds while China has agreed to join Russia and Iran's coalition. Meanwhile, Turkey has shelled Kurdish controlled Manbij in order to deter them from moving westward towards Jarablus.
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14Ted Lieu is leading the charge on trying to end the US's support for Saudia Arabia.
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22North Carolina police killed an unarmed deaf man while he tried communicating to them using sign language. (Autoplay video)
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3UK to scrap Human Rights Act in favour of British Bill of Rights.
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24Look, the gender pay gap exists (18% UK), most among higher educated women, and increases after having kids. Who knew?
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28Residents in West Calumet, East Chicago, Indiana are being relocated because the EPA has found that their community has a dangerosly high amount of lead and arsenic comtaminating their community. The community was kept in the dark about the lead contamination that their community was built on. TYT did several interviews with local residents. (Videos)
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19Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has killed approxiametly 1,800 people, Filipino senators have started an investigation into said killings. After the UN criticized the war, Duterte threatened to leave the organization but quickly reneged.
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15A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia circuit reinstated a case challenging the Bureau of Prisons’ use of secretive and experimental prison units known as communications management units.
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23White supremacists show up outside the Houston NAACP office to tell us how white people are the real victims in the U.S. (On the bright side, they were soon outnumbered by counterprotesters.)
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18First U.S. offshore wind farm is almost completed. Meanwhile, July was the hottest month on record, making it the tenth such month in a row, Antarctica continues to melt, and coastal villages in Alaska are having to relocate due to climate change.
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-5German government urges its citizens to stockpile groceries as a preventive measure in case of an uncertain to happen, future terrorist attack.
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1851 people killed in suicide bombing in Turkey.
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27The parents of a Pakistani-American special needs student at a Long Island middle school allege he was forced by school administrators to confess to being a terrorist after students bullied him.
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19Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law by Mike Pence, is now being invoked to defend religious minorities.
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18The Lakota have halted the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.
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17Half of Wisconsin's Black neighborhoods are jails.
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23Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world.
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17People are being evicted from their homes for calling 911.
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13Whistleblower Jeffery Sterling is being denied life-sustaining medical care.
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5Israeli air strikes pound Gaza after rocket attack.
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13An audit reveals that the US Army has been fudging its accounts by trillions of dollars.
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11Texas is planning to scale back prison sentences for people who can't afford their traffic tickets. Racially charged criticisms ensue.
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13The largest detainee transfer from Guantanamo Bay under President Obama is underway.
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20UKIP's glorious infighting
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16The Sad Puppies fail again at the 2016 Hugo awards
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18With the legalisation of homosexuality, Belize enters the 21st century.
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20A transgender woman has been murdered in Turkey, which has the most murders of transgender people of any European country (in reports that count it as part of Europe). Who'd have thought a country ruled by Islamists would be unsafe for transgender people?
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26Alabama will build a memorial to lynching victims.
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16Turkey has closed a pro-Kurdish daily and arrested two dozen journalist.
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8Syria's civil war:Assad's government has renewed its attacks against the Kurds. Human rights groups report that more than 17,000 people have died in Syria's jails. Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy rescued after a Russian bombing on Aleppo, brother has died. Meanwhile, Turkey vows to take a more active role in Syria and will work with Iran and Russia in order to achieve their goals.
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11Video shows an LAPD officer strangling a Black man to death.
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6Chris Christie has now signed legislation blacklisting groups associated with the BDS movement.
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13Corporate crimes: Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, will not pay US corporate taxes because he believes they are "unfair"; Aetna's CEO has threatened to pull out of Obamacare if the administration prevents his company from merging with Humana. Meanwhile, the SEC halted a massive $35 billion stock on suspicion of manipulation.
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11Top Indian hospitals are buying kidneys from poor villagers to sell to rich patients.
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15Workplace suicides are on the rise, globally.
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12US soldiers are relying on millions of dollars in food stamps in order to survive.
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15Walmart is causing out of control crime.
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10Debt collectors may soon be able to buy your lawsuit.
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11Texas's legislature has awarded $1.6 million to the Heidi Group, a crisis pregnancy center.
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12The US has found that Volkswagen acting criminally in their emissions scandal.
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11A Michigan judge has ruled in favor of a funeral home that fired their employee because they were transgender.
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12A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia upheld the dismissal of Mohammed Jawad's case; he was seeking justice for being tortured and detained at Guantanamo when he was 15.
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15Policing reforms: The Justice Department has denounced bail practices that result in unnecessary incarceration. Baltimore's PD has cut ties with a lawyer who had associations with Neo-Nazis.
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9This is how people are being treated in Arizona's immigration detention centers.
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15Zika transmission confirmed in Miami Beach.
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21Chicago Police Department will seek to fire seven officers for filing false reports about an officer-involved shooting.
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18Police in Huntington, West Virginia responded to 26 heroin overdose calls within 4 hours on Monday. The U.S. death rate from drug overdoses has surpassed that of motor vehicle accidents.
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17North Korea's number two UK diplomat defects to the South.
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22Atheists Are Raising Funds to Help Flood Victims in Louisiana. Please Consider Chipping In! (Since they're not on charity navigator, brief summary, according to tax records Foundation Beyond Belief took in $439,000 in donations and gave out $440,000 in charitable grants in 2014)
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39The US makes one small step forward for basic common sense. Private prisons to be banned at the federal level. Most prisons are state rather than federal, but it's a good start.
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64Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who has claimed that natural disasters are God's way to punish gays has his home destroyed by a natural disaster.
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29In a gold rush, the money is in selling shovels. How "nootropics" woo is sold to desperate Silicon Valley dot-com workers. You'll be next.
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26Turkish post-coup round-ups continue as private businesses are raided for perceived associations with Gulenists.
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29The NSA has been hacked, and samples of top-secret code from their hacking software have been released. Because of how sophisticated the hack was, Edward Snowden suspects the group is associated with the Russian government.
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22A man has killed his Lebanese neighbour in Oklahoma for being a Muslim. He had a history of stalking his neighbour and was realeased from jail for trying to kill his neighbour's mother.
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15Renewed Saudi airstrikes in Yemen have hit an MSF hospital, killing 11, and a a school, killing 10 children. In response, Houthi rebels have shelled Saudia Arabia's southern border and the Saudis ramped up airstrikes in retaliation.
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14An Israeli security officer was caught confiscating a Palestinian girl's bicycle; a 10-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by a security officer who fired a "non-lethal" sponge at him. Fortunately, Israel has passed a law forcing officers to to wear body cameras but have also passed a law allowing the imprisonment of children as young as 12.
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11David Amsalem, a Likud MP in Israel, has proposed a new law that would shield the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, from any future criminal investigation while in office.
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27Notorious Salafi hate preacher Anjem Choudary has finally been convicted of pledging allegiance to DAESH and serving as a recruiter.
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17 While most of the world is getting rid of birthright citizenship in a sad racist trend away from ius soliWikipedia towards ius sanguinisWikipedia, the prime minister of the German state of Thrunigia, Bodo Ramelow (Die LinkeWikipedia) proposes automatic citizenship for all children that are born to refugee parents on German soil. (Link in German; no paywall, just click "continue reading")
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32Britain First banned from every English Mosque, Islamic centre and the entire town of Luton for three years.
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26Cosmetics are largely unregulated in the U.S. A proposed bill in Congress aims to change that, motivated by widespread reports of adverse effects caused by Wen Hair Care products. Many of the large cosmetics companies actually support the bill, but a group of smaller companies led by the Mary Kay MLM business have enlisted Jeff Sessions to fight it. Also Sessions's bill would preempt tougher state regulations. So much for states' rights.
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12Floods in Louisiana kill seven and displace tens of thousands.
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23Research shows that the minimum wage saves lives.
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15Here’s how many hours you need to work to pay rent in every state.
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12Most states in the US have very lax regulations on amusement parks.
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9New account on Attica prison riot, the bloodiest US prison riot, names shooters.
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11Inside the Obama administration's $1 billion deal to detain Central American asylum seekers.
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16American politicians have claimed there was no terrorism before Obama before, but Rudy Giuliani is the first to actually acknowledge 9/11 right before.
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13The US is using gang data to deport undocumented immigrants. Many immigrants who got out of detention are now trapped in debt.
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20Civil asset forfeiture: The DEA regularly mines Americans' travel records to seize millions in cash. Meanwhile, in New York, the NYPD's civil forfeiture system has taken millions from low-income citizens.
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20The inspector general of the Justice Department has released a report that finds private prisons are less safe and secure. Prisons are also trying new methods of restraining inmates which have deadly outcomes.
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15Having a trial by jury is becoming a rarity as plea deals become the norm.
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18National Guard have been activated after Milwaukee protests over a traffic stop suspect being killed became violent.
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14Notorious Filipino kleptocrat to be given hero's burial
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15Manbij has been liberated from ISIS ISIL. DAESH
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15Further religious violence in the US as an Imam is murdered on the streets of Queens outside his Mosque.
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11After reading more than 800 academic studies, a psychologist concludes that "a wedded bliss is largely a myth".
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17At least six people are seriously injured in Switzerland after a knifeman slashed several people on a train and set himself on fire.
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44Problems for UKIP as one of Nigel Farage's aides and nephew of a prominent noble donor is arrested for money laundering for undercover police and then blackmailing them.
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14Massive rail strikes have started in the UK.
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14How Israel is trying to enforce gag orders beyond its borders. (972 mag)
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14The U.S. will rearm Saudi Arabia to the tune of $1.5 billion as airstrikes resume in Yemen.
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18Burqinis banned from Cannes beaches for showing ‘allegiance to terrorists’ (RT)
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25Uncertainty doesn't excuse climate change inaction.
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32British Jehovah's Witnesses react to allegations of child abuse in an all-too-predictable way: going to court to block an inquiry.
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21Further lives lost: LA police killed an unarmed black man who was misidentified as a carjacking suspect. A Florida cop fatally shot a 73-year-old woman during an academy simulation. Lastly, a white homeowner called 911 to report a black man as a "hoodlum" and proceeded to fatally shoot him.
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20The average Black family would need 228 years to build the wealth of a White family today.
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15Venezuela's inflation rates are now highest in the world.
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18According to a report by the Women and Equalities Committee, Muslim women are the most economically disadvantaged group in British society.
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13Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance chief, bails out Spain and Portugal by intervening against the EU commission's sanctions.
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18Palo Alto, CA city planning official moves out of the city because she can't afford to live there.[No, not The Onion]
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5Snapchat decided it would be hilarious to add a yellowface filter.
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27Fox News sexual harassment scandal continues to expand. Vox has an overview of the allegations. Try not to vomit. Update: Ailes used Fox News like a criminal empire.
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13U.S. DEA rejects request to reschedule cannabis. They're basically passing the buck to the FDA, saying they won't reclassify it if the FDA hasn't approved it for medical use. The DEA did announce they will make it easier for researchers to obtain federally-sanctioned cannabis for research.
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11Twin-bombing at a resort in the Thai city of Hua Hin. 11 reported casualties so far including 1 fatality.
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22The Nauru Files: 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention. (The files themselves.)
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23Newly declassified documents reveal that Henry Kissinger hindered US effort to end mass killings in Argentina
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24Comcast believes it should be allowed to charge its users a premium for privacy.
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24Working hazards: A survey by TUC has found that more than half of women say they have been sexually harassed at work and most don't report it.
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15Labor protests in China are increasing as their economy slows. (Autoplay video)
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17A Harvard study finds that millions of Americans may be drinking water contaminated by PFAS.
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21The DOJ will finally track police killings.
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13Vietnam moves new rocket launchers into the disputed South China Sea.
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23The Affordable Care Act is making people in the U.S. Communists healthier.
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18Despite threat of lawsuit, the school board of Berkeley County, South Carolina, decides to resume using the Lord's Prayer to open meetings.
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36Department of Justice investigation of Baltimore Police Department finds it intentionally targets blacks, sky is blue, grass is green. Update: Officers were also found to have frequently dismissed or mishandled sexual assault complaints.
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41Proposed California law would prohibit schools receiving state funding from discriminating against LGBT+ people, mostly removing an existing exemption for religious schools. Religious schools are predictably up in arms about this "attack on the First Amendment". (The bill itself.)
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53Justice prevails, as the right Schlafly beats the wrong Schlafly.
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26Climate change is leading to increased numbers of dangerous Vibrio bacteria in the North Atlantic.
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31Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu shatters world record at the Olympics, so naturally NBC announcer credits her husband and coach for the victory. This appears to be a media habit.
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23Jamming of GPS and other wireless signals is becoming a widespread problem.
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36Car dealer refuses to sell an Indian man a Mercedes, citing concern that he'll "ship it to the Taliban"
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24Olympic athletes have strange red marks on their bodies - welcome unwelcome back, cupping.
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26An undercover FBI agent encouraged the "Draw Muhammad" shooting in Texas.
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8Assad's government has likely used chlorine gas against the Syrian rebels.
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15The US has released its drone strike playbook.
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15Another Bitcoin exchange compromised.
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29First mammal species confirmed to have been driven to extinction by anthropogenic climate change.
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19An anomaly found last year in data from the Large Hadron Collider turns out to have been a random fluke. This is interesting because it's yet another negative result for supersymmetry.
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23Human rights groups report that Australia deliberately ignores refugee abuse in order to deter people from migrating to the country.
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16Phillip Galea, who has been linked with Reclaim Australia, has been arrested and charged with terrorism offences, claims charges are "a conspiracy against the patriot movement".
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33Melting permafrost in Siberia has caused an outbreak of Anthrax, infecting 13 people.
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22Zika vaccines show early promise.
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15The Associated Press has found that the medical benefits of dental floss are largely unproven. (Autoplay video)
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1418 year old arrested on terrorism charges has a child-like mental state.
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11Al-Qaeda has broken the Syrian government's siege on the city of Aleppo after a violent offensive.
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16Sweden's largest evangelical church plans to use drones to bomb DAESH with tiny, electronic bibles. The crazies in questionWikipedia.
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36DAESH is finally starting to take advantage of Boko Haram's "loyalty" pledge by demanding a new - DAESH-approved - leader, arguing on the grounds that its leader Abubakar ShekauWikipedia kills Muslims and is therefore not a Muslim. The irony here is that DAESH is accusing another group of being too extreme.
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72Missouri is seriously short of funding for public defenders. Fortunately, in extremis, the head public defender can draft any member of the state bar to serve as a public defender. For instance, the governor who vetoed proper funding for public defenders. (The letter to the governor is a thing of beauty.)
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13Obama shortens terms for 214 prisoners.
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26Billionaire Peter Thiel is very interested in parabiosis as a life extension technique. That is, rejuvenating the old with the blood of the young. "I suspect we're a little too biased against all these things in society," Thiel said. Elizabeth Bathory as neoreactionary role model. There's even a "patient-funded" study in progress. (PZ Myers dissects the pseudoscientific thinking that's going on here, and what the original parabiosis experiments were actually about.)
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23Skye Mockabee, a Black transgender woman, was found dead in a parking lot in Cleveland in an apparent case of murder. If such is the case, she is the 17th transgender person to be murdered this year. For context, that makes the chances of being murdered for trans people approximately 8.5 per 100,000 per year, more than double the average murder rate.
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25The Center for Media and Democracy has found that AARP is funding ALEC while leaked emails reveal that Coca-Cola has ties within the CDC. Meanwhile, the Olympic executives has embraced the "Olympic Movement" that underpays athletes.
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25Filipino police and vigilantes will partake in a state-sanctioned killing spree of drug suspects in Manila.
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17The Movement for Black Lives has released its racial justice demands beyond police misconduct. (The full policy list.)
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22The financial firm that cornered the market.
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38The US blew $1.4 billion on abstinence education in Africa.
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27Japanese people are working themselves to death.
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11There's a massive battle going on right now for the Syrian city of Aleppo, with the Syrian government fighting al-Qaeda-led rebels for control of a key supply line.
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23The operator of the balloon that crashed in Texas had four prior DUI convictions, another drug-related conviction, and dozens of business complaints. The NTSB urged the FAA in 2014 to implement stricter regulation of ballooning licenses, but the FAA ignored them. (autoplay video)
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31Zika outbreak in Florida continues to grow, as does the already-massive outbreak in Puerto Rico. And there's no federal funding to fight it thanks to the Republicans. Mosquitoes only bite poor people, so just work harder!
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28Here are all the UK companies, councils, and charities who used benefits claimants as unpaid labour.
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32A man who threatened to kill a Muslim woman and attempted to drive her off the road will not be charged with a hate crime.
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21Swaziland has begun to evict all Asian immigrants following its ban on Asian immigration.
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22The rise of "K2" or "synthetic marijuana". The War on Drugs continues to succeed! As does the U.S.'s lack of universal health care, which means the only place many of the poor can get medical treatment is prison.
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30College students in Texas can now carry guns to school
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20It's possible that the UAE funded the Turkish coup.
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32Ireland has jailed 3 bankers responsible for the Great Recession.
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27The UN has found that American rights to peaceful assembly and association have eroded and race is a major factor.
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20E-cigarettes emit harmful chemicals.