RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/August 2019

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August 2019[edit]

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24United States United Kingdom There seem to be certain genetic commonalities in same-sex experiences, but that's not the same thing as a "gay gene"... probably. It's "complicated", researchers say, in the largest study to date on the subject.
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27United States The EPA to roll back regulations on methane emissions such as removing federal requirements that gas companies need to install technology that can detect methane leaks and open questions to EPA's role in regulating methane as a pollutant. For once, however, this is getting resistance from major energy companies.
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21United KingdomRuth Davidson resigns as Scottish Conservative leader
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23ItalyItaly looks set for a new government, a coalition of the centre-left PD and centrist/populist 5 Star Movement, which will remove the far-right Northern League from power (the League were in coalition with 5 Star but destroyed the coalition, hoping to provoke an election).
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16PeruThe IncaWikipedia hoisted up human heads as a warning to rebellious villagers, new study finds.
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26United Kingdom To prepare for an "exciting agenda" and certainly nothing to do with curtailing democratic debate, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson will have Parliament closed just a week after opening, and re-open for Brexit talks in the last week before crashing out.
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27IrelandThree rural primary schools in Ireland are making history by live transferring from being Catholic to "multi-denominational patronage" [secular], the first time it has been done. This is being done to keep such small schools alive.
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27United StatesIn a new policy change, the Mormon LDS Church has forbidden parishioners from carrying lethal weapons on church property.
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25United StatesAndy Ngo is out of a job at Quillette after an incriminating video revealed that he witnessed a far-right group planning violence but never reported it. Some of the individuals involved now face felony riot charges.
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19United StatesTrump complains about long travel times to G7 summit locations, wants to host the next summit at his own Trump golf course in Miami.
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23United KingdomA study by the London School of Economics has found due to a local boycott of The Sun, because of HillsboroughWikipedia, Liverpulians are less eurosceptic than their neighbours.
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30Brazil Bolsonaro sends Brazilian army to combat wildfires, but only after such an intense bout of public and international pressure.
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18United Kingdom The Continuity IRA has been determined to be responsible for an attempt to murder police and soldiers in a bombing in County Fermanagh. The police are now pleading for additional officers to fight the growing risks of terrorism.
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23United StatesMississippi. Inside the Mississippi prison where inmates are set on fire and gangs have total control.
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24United StatesChinaNBC News has revealed that the Chinese dissent cult, the Falun Gong has used its media arm the Epoch Times Media group to push a pro-Trump narrative since 2016. Recently, it has made itself the second biggest spender on Facebook ads, spending over $1.5 million, promoting itself and various conspiracy theories such as Qanon and “truths” about 9/11.
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33BrazilThe Amazon rainforest is burning down at a rapidly accelerating rate, with tens of thousands of fires occurring this year so far. Much of the fires are due to the deforestation of the Amazon that has been facilitated and accelerated by Jair Bolsonaro's government.
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21Malaysia Indonesia Concerns about the possibility of losing a major industry of palm oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia. These countries are working with former tobacco and oil lobbyist DCI GroupWikipedia, to improve the environmentally destructive industry's PR offensive in the United States.
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17ItalyItaly government crisis: PM Conte quits amid coalition row
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29DenmarkUnited StatesGreenland Trump throws a tantrum over Danish rejection of his (apparently serious) interest in purchasing Greenland, and cancels state visit to Denmark.
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27Australia Convicted pedophile and prelate of the Australian catholic church, George PellWikipedia has lost his appeal against sexual abuse convictions.
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20El SalvadorA 21 year old El Salvadoran woman, who delivered a stillborn at 34 weeks and lacked any access to any form of reproductive health care is acquitted of a suspected abortion after three years
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29United StatesNew York. Over five years after Eric Garner was choked to death, the police officer who murdered him has finally been fired.
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8United States Protecting the nachos of America, nearly four tons of marijuana stuffed inside jalapenos is intercepted at the US/Mexico border.
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21IrelandThe Financial Times has reported that the Catholic church in Ireland is in such a financial difficulties, that it is coerced to sell many of its own assets, notably property. This is due to the the many scandals that the church has had to pay compensation, and falling incomes & donations. A notable one is the selling of the Holy Cross seminary in Dublin to a major sports association for €95 million.
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3United StatesNew York. Bleach touted as miracle cure. Again.
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21United StatesMexicoHondurasBrazilGuatemala Inside the world of evangelical influence peddling in Latin America with help from the Trump White House.
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38United StatesGreenlandDenmarkDonald Trump has asked about the possibility of the US buying Greenland from Denmark. Nobody seems to know if he was joking or not. Shockingly, Greenland is not for sale.
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19IsraelUnited StatesPalestineIsrael bans Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the occupied West Bank due to their support for the BDS movement, hours after Donald Trump told the country's government to do so.
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15United KingdomInstead of their usual boxes, 210 take-away fried chicken restaurants will use special ones provided by the government with anti-knife crime messages on them. The move has been criticized, among other reasons, for playing on the tired old trope that black people love fried chicken.
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23United KingdomTwo TV commercials are banned for going against recently introduced rules that prohibit gender stereotyping in adverts.
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26United StatesTrump's head of immigration suggests that the poem on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal be amended to read "Give me your tired and your poor - who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."
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20United StatesVirginia. Man wearing TV screen caught on surveillance cameras dumping old television sets on neighborhood patios.
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48United StatesNevada. (Yet another) male wannabe white supremacist terrorist was thwarted in his plan to conduct bombings on synagogues and LGBT bars in Las Vegas.
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31NorwayOne injured in shooting at mosque in Norway. The shooter, dressed in body armor and armed with two "shotgun-like weapons" and a pistol, was overpowered by members of the mosque. Shocking nobody, the shooter is described by police as a "young white man".
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21United KingdomUKIP elects a new leader who promises to keep the comedy coming. Ladies and gentlemen, a big round of applause for Dick Braine[No, not The Onion]. UPDATE: Don't call him Dick Braine.
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32United StatesJeffrey Epstein has been found dead in his cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges
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37United StatesMontana. Montana man assaults 13 year-old to the point of hospitalization because he didn't remove his hat during the national anthem.
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20CanadaVaginal steaming proves less than safe. Sorry for the lack of surprise in this news story.
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24LuxembourgLuxembourg is currently passing through legislation in the parliament about legalising recreational cannabis. It is planned to be available in the Grand Duchy in two years time, making it the first country in Europe doing so. (Note: cannabis is only either decriminalised as in Portugal or Czechia, or tolerated as in the Netherlands)
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22New ZealandResearchers in New Zealand identify fossils as belonging to the world's largest recorded parrot.
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19United StatesVenezuelaTrump announces total economic embargo against Venezuela
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19IndiaPakistanIn the midst of the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the Indian government is currently revoking the autonomy of the region, has severed internet connections, mobile phone lines and landlines within the region, and has been deploying tens of thousands of soldiers to the region over the past two weeks.
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49SpainEuropean UnionThe Spanish Health Minister María Luisa Carcedo is campaigning to change the 2001 EU law, which allows unproven medicines, specifically homeopathic "medicines" to be classed as medicines.
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42the WorldCloudfare finally terminates their service to 8chan in response to the mass shooting in El Paso and the perpetrator publishing his white nationalist manifesto on the website.
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33the WorldMost detailed model of Milky Way ever created yet was just released by scientists.
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12ChinaWarning: Clickbait alert. "First human-monkey chimera raises concern among scientists"
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21United StatesOhio. ...Not even 24 hours. Mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. At least 9 dead. 16 injured. Shooter dead.
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28United StatesTexas. 20 dead, 24 injured, in yet another mass shooting; this time a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. A 21 year old suspect in custody. Authorities are investigating a manifesto with anti-immigrant talking points, supposedly written by the shooter.
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20JapanA statue remembering WWII comfort women was removed from a Japanese art exhibition due to complaints and threats of violence.
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8RussiaRussian cops crack down on pro-democracy protesters in Moscow, detaining over 800 people.
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7El SalvadorIn anti-abortion El Salvador, woman faces second homicide trial after stillborn birth
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14United States TRUMP THREATENS BEER! Well, actually, microbrewers are trying to keep water clean, but Ol' 45's environmental policies might make the clean water needed for good suds harder to get...
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25Brazil Deforestation of the Amazon rainforestWikipedia reached a record high last month, pushing it ever closer toward a tipping point from which it cannot recover. Much of it is not legally permitted. Warning: the article calls Bolsnaro a "climate change skeptic".
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26United StatesRussiathe World United States exits yet another fucking treaty, this time it's the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces TreatyWikipedia from 1987 with Russia. This would be the treaty that bans land-based missiles with ranges from 500 and 5,500 km (310-3,400 miles). And so starts the new arms race...
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35United StatesMajority of House Democrats now support impeachment inquiry.
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27NetherlandsProblems on the first day of the Netherlands' burqa ban (in public buildings and on public transport) as nobody is willing to enforce it: the police would rather women in burqas continue to visit police stations and other public staff won't police it either.