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

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August 2020[edit]

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21EgyptIsraelPalestine Israeli planes bomb Gaza for seventh straight night as Egyptian officials arrive to attempt to defuse an uptick in violence
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37United KingdomUnited States J.K. Rowling returns an award she got from the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organization last year after its president, Kerry Kennedy, called her a transphobe.
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20the WorldAntarctica According to a research approximately 60% of Antartica's ice shelves are at risk of fracture
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29Japan Prime minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe, resigns for health-related reasons.
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43New Zealand Christchurch mosque murderer gets life without parole - the heaviest possible sentence in New Zealand and the first time it has been used.
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33United StatesWisconsin. A 17 year old self-proclaimed militiaman charged with homicide after two deaths in Kenosha protests
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22United States Dejoy stumped by basic questions about postage.
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23United States Jerry Falwell Jr. is to step down from his role as President of Liberty University following social media posts deemed provocative to the evangelical institute. Or maybe he hasn't - Falwell denies quitting.
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18European Union The European Union's subsidies for agriculture benefit big farms while underfunding greener and poorer plots, and that the subsidies tend to go to more polluted and least biodiversity-friendly areas
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18United States Citing marital problems with her husband, a Lincoln Project participant, Kellyanne "alternative facts" Conway has announced her departure from the White House, further affecting President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign.
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14United StatesWisconsin. Protests are taking place in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the multiple-shooting of an African-American man trying to open an SUV. Update: The Wisconsin National Guard has now been deployed.
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20China United Kingdom There are warnings that Chinese investment in nuclear power in the UK could turn into the next Huawei-like battle between London and Beijing.
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32United States QAnon is hijacking movements against child trafficking and bringing pro-Trump views to them
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28Australia Google accused of spreading misinformation by Australian authorities about a new regulation that would force tech giants like Google and Facebook to share advertising profits with news outlets.
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24ThailandProtests and demands are growing on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand with demands for the government to stand down and reforms of the country’s constitution. Notable calls include abolition of the country strict lèse-majestéWikipedia laws.
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7United Kingdom Ireland In an operation conducted by British and Irish police and intelligence services, residences across Ireland both North and South have been raided this past week and as of Tuesday nine people have been detained under suspicion of being New IRA fighters. Also targeted are offices belonging to the nationalist party, Saoradh, believed to be the NIRA political wing. These operations are a response to two years of arson and pipe bombings committed by the group. Update: British Army ATOs were sent out to four properties in Belfast linked to NIRA, but were determined to be hoax devices designed to cause panic.
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55United States Steve Bannon arrested for fraud. Apparently the crowdfunded border wall was a scam
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20the World First they came for the anarchists: Facebook banned dozens of anarchists, anti-fascist and anti-capitalist pages as part of a crackdown of thousands of QAnon content and pages
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28United Kingdom Student who won the Orwell youth prize for dystopian novel about a biased algorithm has her grades downgraded by a biased algorithm, though the government announced it will abandon the algorithm-based grade assessement
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15Mali Military coup in Mali succeeds in arresting and ousting President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
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35United States Nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails reveal how the Department of Education worked with men's rights groups to change the rules of sexual assault and harassment on college campus
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10United StatesCalifornia. Rolling blackouts ravaging California, in the middle of a heatwave no less. Residents are being told to turn the AC to no lower than 78 during the day and 72 at night (when there is less demand) to "pre-cool" their homes. The issue is that California imports a lot of electricity from neighboring states, but those states have also seen a lot of growth and so have less surplus to sell. California already shut down one of their two nuclear power plants, with the other to close in 2025 or so, making matters worse.
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9United StatesIowa. A derecho storm strikes the Midwest US, causing widespread destruction. Specifically it destroyed 43% of Iowa's corn and soybean crop
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42the World It turns out that Facebook's algorithm actively promotes Holocaust denial content
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19Germany Multinational German food maker Knorr has said it would rename the popular tomato and paprika sauce known as "Zigeunersauce" (Gypsy sauce), because of the racist overtones associated with the name of the product.
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24United StatesNew York. New disclosed records show that Governor Andrew Cuomo's largest hedge fund donors have funneled a huge amount of money at the precise moment that the governor is blocking Democratic bills intended to raise taxes on the financial industry
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29Sovereign-States-Within-Europe-Flag-Loop.gif Heatwave in Europe, with London seeing the hottest stretch since the 1960s
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13Lebanon Lebanese parliament approves sweeping powers for the military as anti-government protests intensify
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19United States Donald Trump isn't happy that a 1992 law aimed at water conservation means only 2.5 gallons (9.5 l) per minute can come out of showerheads in the US. He thinks a more powerful shower will make his hair perfect.
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20China Hong Kong A dark new phase in Hong Kong as pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai is arrested under new security law
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42United States A US government contractor has embedded surveillance software in over 500 phone apps
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22United StatesCalifornia. Since 2013, the San Diego PD has issued 83 tickets for "seditious language" against the police
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16China China's Great Firewall now blocks all HTTPS traffic that uses TLS 1.3 and ESNI. For the concerned, RationalWiki is not affected.
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11United States With economic relief talks stalling in Congress, President Trump signs an executive order unilaterally extending enhanced unemployment benefits, stop evictions, continue the suspension of student loan debt and deferring payroll tax though the executive orders are expected to face legal challenges
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50United StatesNew York. New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that she has filed a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association and four individuals, including longtime leader Wayne LaPierre, seeking to dissolve the gun rights advocacy group for "diverting charitable funds to support wasteful spending."
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18the WorldHow stone tools may have played a huge role in the origin and subsequent evolution of language
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17Bulgaria Bulgarian protests have continued for nearly a month, triggered by a raid on the President's residence as political tensions rise in the country
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31United KingdomEngland Beavers, hunted to extinction in England 400 years ago, have now been officially reintroduced to the country.
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22United Kingdom Corporations bailed out with public money have paid billions of pounds to shareholders while cutting tens of thousands of jobs
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33Lebanon Devastating nitrate explosion in Beirut injures at least 4,000 and kills over 75 people. Update Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his Cabinet resign as public anger mounts
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18United StatesChina Trump wants Treasury to get "a cut" of whatever Microsoft pays for TikTok!
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26United States The Department of Homeland Security, which is already compilling intelligence reports on journalists, is creating a blacklist of "Antifa activists" and attempt to tie them to foreign powers
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24 United States Ladies and gentlemen, the leader of the free world and self proclaimed genius https://youtu.be/zaaTZkqsaxY
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12SpainThe emeritus king Juan Carlos I has said he is going to self-imposed exile, as prosecutors are investigating allegations of financial improprieties in offshore accounts.
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26the WorldUnited States Internet Archives launches a counter lawsuit to protect Covid-19 emergency library
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13United Kingdom A British Tory MP has been arrested and charged with rape but will not be suspended from the party (Guardian)
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37Israel Protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are gaining steam, though Ben dismisses the protestors as "leftists and anarchists"
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35United Kingdom Wind power is now so cheap that it could start paying back to British consumers
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11United States No deal: Economic relief talks in Congress comes at a standhill as benefits expire